Sunday, January 31, 2010

Night Number One

Jory left for Dallas after dinner tonight. He gave sweet goodbyes to Aaron and Aaron just giggled. He called Aaron before bed and told him goodnight and gave him his love. Aaron got so tickled talking to Daddy on the phone. He went down for bed very sweetly, but he's still talking to himself. Such sweet sounds. That's something we need to video!

Jory and I have been dreading our separation so much. We know that it's short term and that it is the right thing and that people do it all the time, but WOW are we not liking the idea at all. We are not used to being apart and we're so blessed that Jory doesn't travel for his job and he doesn't work a shift job where he'd come home after I went to bed and he's not in the military where he might be deployed for long periods. So, we are used to being together. A lot.
We are blessed that we have so many wonderful friends here. People are filling my calendar by inviting Aaron and I to dinner. Several people have said to call if we need anything that a husband would normally deal with and several people have said to just call if we need company. I've had offers to help me pack the house and to watch Aaron if I need that. We are so, so blessed and that will make this time infinitely easier. We also got some news that may allow us to move into an apartment in Dallas together earlier than we thought! Oh, how nice does that sound?! We should know more about that this week.
These pictures are all from this weekend. We had a wonderful weekend as a family. The three of us played together and had such a sweet time. Jory made me a fancy dinner last night and rented a movie that I have been wanting to see for a while and brought me flowers! He feels badly about leaving, but we do know that it's going to be fine and very quick. We should be thankful that we enjoy being together so much that a few week of part-time living sounds like torture!
You can expect lots of pictures and updates this week. I know of a certain Daddy who will be checking daily! Have a blessed week!

At Long Last...More Video!

Sorry it has taken since Halloween to put more videos on here. As you might have heard, we have had a thing or two going on...

There are three new ones uploaded to YouTube. Below are links that will hopefully work.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Week in Review

Jory is on his way home from taking a Tax Test. He has been taking a Tax Class and this was the last week. He has been furiously preparing for the test and I have actually seen him less this week than I did when he was working. That is the reason we have been so looking forward to getting to the weekend! We have no plans this weekend and we are pretty excited about that.

Aaron and I have had lots of dates this week to keep us busy while Daddy was gone. Today we had lunch with Charlotte and her Mama, Jennifer. Charlotte was born the same week as Aaron and we were in birthing class with Jennifer and Scott.

Aaron has had a great week. He tried blueberries today and he ate them like crazy! It is nice when we find a fruit he really likes. So far, he'll tolerate all fruit (except apples), but oranges are the only ones he really likes. We have been working really hard, and we have finally stopped dropping our food off of the high chair. It took almost a month, but we appear to have conquered it. Aaron still loves to act like he's going to drop a piece of food and give us a big smile, but he doesn't actually drop it any more.
He's also stopped crawling in the kitchen. That took A LOT of retrievals and a lot of saying 'no', but I think we've got it. He does still crawl to the edge of the kitchen and yell at me while I am in there, but I'll take what I can get. Here's what we have not overcome: standing up in the highchair. Oh my! I think this one may wear Mama and Daddy out. This is a pretty dangerous one because the wooden highchair is slippery and the kitchen floor is concrete. We are working really, really hard on it, but it has remained elusive. Mr. Aaron is not giving in on this one.

We signed our contract to sell the house today. Our option period goes through Friday. The inspection will be done Monday. PLEASE pray for no issues with the inspection. We will keep you updated. Have a great weekend - we plan to!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Busy Week

The last seven days have been very hectic for us. That is very opposite of our usual lifestyle and we are not adjusting well. We can't wait to get through tomorrow and enjoy a relaxing weekend as a family!
I haven't detailed the week since I have had bigger updates regarding the house and the move. Last Friday was our dinner with Jory's new company. It was very nice. It had been planned for a long time and Kimmie and Papa John were looking very forward to keeping Aaron at their house. As the weekend got closer, several things came up that we had no choice in. This added up to a lot of additional activities in a rapidly shortening time frame. We did not have the three hours it was going to add to our travel time to take Aaron to and from Benbrook, but we also didn't want to disappoint grandparents, so we made it work - barely. By the time we made it to dinner Friday night, Jory was almost as stressed as I had ever seen him. Luckily, it was a very relaxing, easy-going dinner. It was just so lovely. It was long, though - almost four hours - so we didn't get to our hotel until late Friday night.

The dinner was definitely worth the trip and it was very nice to get to know the people with whom Jory will be working. They were all so kind and we got a lot of good information on areas where we might considering living. Aaron had an AWESOME time with his grandparents and that was also worth the trip! In fact, we got fussed at when we picked him up. Kimmie and Papa John ONLY had FIVE hours of awake time with the boy! They didn't even have time to take a single picture, for crying out loud! We were told twice that it was very unfair to drop Aaron off for such a short period of time. HA! Isn't it a shame that Aaron's grandparents can't stand to spend time with him?

We do talk all the time about how blessed we are by all of Aaron's grandparents. He LOVES spending time with all of them and they are all so taken with him. Even the ones that are too far away to do a five hour babysitting job are active in his life and we love that so much! Every single time Aaron stays with his grandparents we spend two days talking about how wonderful it is that Aaron does so well with them. How blessed we are that they love to have him. How nice it is to walk away knowing that our son is comfortable and will be well-cared for. So that was the highlight of the weekend. Saturday we saw another rental house to compare to the Suttons' and we viewed an apartment. We got to spend a (too) short period of time with Grandad and Mimi before fighting the rain-slowed traffic back to Tyler. By the time we got here late Saturday evening, we were exhausted and we were all ready to be home, but we were all so grateful for the good things that we were blessed to experience Friday and Saturday. The weekend wrapped up with Jory teaching our Sunday School class on Sunday morning. He did a fabulous job. Though I have always known that he had a deep desire to teach, I had never seen it in action. I was extremely impressed and so proud. Jory and I have both since been told by several different people that he clearly has a gift of teaching and God is obviously preparing to use him. I can not disagree. Jory would love to find a class to lead when we are led to our next church home.

That's most of the weekend. Obviously, we saw a couple of rental options in Dallas and you now know that we chose the apartment/town home. We actually originally chose the Suttons' rental home and we left Mr. Sutton a message Saturday to call us. We intended to agree to rent his home when he called us back. By a series of things, we did not connect with the Suttons until Tuesday. By that time we had completely changed our minds and had agreed to rent the apartment. We are comfortable with that decision. Though it's not in a residential area where we could explore future living options, it is very near to some areas we are considering. It is also going to be extremely convenient to Jory's work and just about everything Dallas has and right now that's a pretty big plus. As most of you know, we are expecting Allen Baby #2 in August and we sure want to be as close to Daddy's work as we can be so he can run home and see the Munchkin at lunch just like he did with Aaron!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Updates

This morning, Aaron and I went to the Suttons' and watched Brooks while Jessica went to the doctor. Then we got to stay and have a wonderful brunch. These pictures are from the babysitting time.

Today we accepted an offer on our house. We don't have a signed contract yet, but I assume we will in the morning. We settled for $1,000 less than what we paid for the house a year and a half ago. Not bad. Since we have put a little money into the house, we would have preferred to recoup that so we did settle for less than we would have liked. However, it is more important to us to expedite the sale right now. We are really dreading living apart and the longer we wait until we sell the house, the longer we would have to live in two different cities to avoid double payments. So, we are considering it a huge blessing that we have sold our home in three weeks. Please continue to pray that everything goes smoothly and our buyer's financing comes through.

We are set to close on March 19. We kept the apartment move-in at March 15, but when we get word that the financing is completely approved (probably around March 1), we will likely up our move-in date and start getting settled.

Starting Sunday, Jory will be leaving Tyler on Sunday evenings and driving to his Dad's. He will stay there on Sunday and Monday nights. This should be about an hour's commute for him to work. On Tuesdays, he'll leave work at 4 and head to Tyler for his Bible Study. After that, he'll come here around 7 and he will spend the night here. On Wednesday mornings he will drive to the office and that will be at least two hours. There are only three more weeks of the Bible Study, though, and he really wants to finish it. He'll be at his Dad's on Wednesday and Thursday nights and then will head back here on Fridays after work for the weekend. Whew! We are so glad that this will be for a very short period of time.Things are busy here, but very well. So many things are falling into place. We still have much to tell you and I will keep updating this week. I'll try to get some better pictures of Mr. Aaron this week. He has been sooo sweet!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some Updates

It has been a wild few days in the Allen Household. First of all, we did get an offer on the house. It went to our realtor late Sunday evening (the 20th day on the market). We actually didn't get it until late morning yesterday and were just able to send the counter offer back this morning at 9am. There is a little delay in things because our realtor was traveling Monday and did not have good luck with flights at all. So we lost a lot of time when he thought he would be on the ground, but was not.
It was a decent offer and definitely something we think we can work with. They really didn't ask for anything which was nice. We had expected them to. Now we just have to agree on the price. We are about $10,000 apart right now and hope to settle in the middle. Please pray that negotiations are smooth and that the buyer's financing is approved. That is our big worry - that we'll get near the closing date and the financing won't come through and we will already be locked into paying rent in Dallas and stuck with our mortgage in Tyler until a new buyer comes along. We have to work on our trust and faith, don't we?
Today we agreed to rent an apartment in Dallas. It is actually a 3-bedroom town home, so there is no one above or below us (though there will be some shared side walls). We will sign a 6-mo lease and we appreciate the flexibility. It is VERY close to Jory's work (much closer than we will ever be in a house). We are planning to take possession March 15, but we can have it earlier if we want it. If our current house offer goes through, we will be closing March 12, so we would move into the apartment at the beginning of March.

Obviously, the very biggest concern is where we will have Aaron's first birthday party since his birthday falls in the very middle of all of this transition. Never fear! We have come up with three viable options (though no perfect ones). For some reason, Jory thinks we have plenty of time to worry about this and he is not placing it in the priority it rightly deserves. I do not understand that at all.We actually have quite a bit going on right now, so I will continue updates this week. The biggest update on Mr. Aaron is that he is a walking machine! WOW, is he walking everywhere now. We will (I promise) start video taping some of this stuff! Have a wonderful week and I will keep you updated on the Allen Family Happenings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Headed to Dallas

Jory's new company is taking us to dinner tonight in Dallas. We are actually going to drive to Benbrook first so that Aaron can stay with Kimmie and Papa John and then drive back to Dallas. We have dinner at 6 and the company is putting us up in a hotel near the Galleria.

Tomorrow morning we are going to look at two other rental options for comparison's sake. We are hoping to have a decision made on where we will initially live in Dallas by the time this weekend is over. We are also hoping to know when are house will be sold by the time this weekend is over. There have been indications that we will get an offer tomorrow morning!

After our viewings tomorrow we are going to get Aaron late morning and head to Grandad and Mimi's around lunch time. Aaron needs some time with them and we need to pick up his Christmas presents! We left them there the day after Christmas because our car was full and we were planning to be back in the mid-cities that same week. Well, plans changed and poor Aaron hasn't had his presents for a month!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some Firsts

In early December, Kim and John came here and kept Aaron for the weekend. They introduced him to Cheerios. When they kept him for a few hours before Christmas, they gave him some more Cheerios. Apparently, he really liked them. As far as we know, those are the only two times he has been exposed to Cheerios. Fast forward an entire month. We are at the grocery store and Aaron starts squealing and pointing. He's never pointed for anything before and I've never heard this excited squeal. It's like "Whooooo...Wheeeeee...Whoooo!" I look, and the boy is trying to get me to buy some Cheerios! Isn't that crazy? They learn fast. He has now taken to using the squealing/pointing method frequently. His favorite thing is his Brutus Buckeye doll that plays the Ohio State Fight Song. Seriously. You must see him going crazy for this thing. We plan to video tape it. It's a riot.

Another (less pleasant) first happened yesterday. As you know, Aaron pees on me a lot. Yes, he still does it. But he has NEVER pooped without his diaper on. We have heard tales of this from friends, but it has not happened to us. Until yesterday when he pooped in the bathtub! Uggg. Jory thought it was very funny.

He also fell for the first time in the bathtub yesterday. I felt very badly for him because he wasn't doing anything wrong. He was just playing and he leaned forward too far and slipped. His entire face went under water and he must have had his mouth open because he came up sputtering. It scared Mama a lot more than it scared baby.
Today was a sad first. He cried for the first time from a fall. It's pretty amazing because he falls a lot. My friends watch in horror as he loudly hits furniture, walls and hardwood floors and comes up laughing. Falling is fun, apparently. The only time he has cried was when he first started pulling up and he would have his tongue sticking out with concentration. He had some falls where he bit his tongue and brought blood (and tears). But today he fell and hit the side of his head on his bed. It really didn't look like a bad fall to me and certainly had a lot less impact than some of them, but he must have hit it just right because he screamed and covered his ear and was quite upset for a while.

The onesie he is wearing in the above picture says 'My dad is my hero!'. He got it for Christmas. He sure does love that daddy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lunch with Daddy

Yesterday I got a call that someone wanted to see our house over lunch. It was kind of late notice, so we ended up meeting Jory for lunch. It was nice. Aaron had a great time smiling at everyone and he and a baby girl a little older than he had a really in-depth 'conversation'. Seriously. They were definitely communicating.

We found out that Aaron LOVES barbecue baked beans. Loves them. Well, he just likes food, but he really loved those beans of Daddy's. And he ate them off a big person fork!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pictures from the Weekend

Here are a couple of pictures of Aaron walking. He is so proud of himself and he seems to have gained a lot of confidence from being able to walk. That confidence has mostly translated into thinking he is big enough to disobey all of the rules now. It's kind of fun to watch, but it's really frustrating, too. Probably like God watching us.

Here's another eating picture. He had hard boiled egg yolks, mixed vegetables and pears. He had two servings of the vegetables. He will definitely take veggies over fruit. Clearly, he is not related to me.

There is not a lot going on here. We are still showing the house a lot and still waiting for an offer. It has been on the market two weeks as of today. I go to my Bible Study tomorrow morning. I finished my homework today. I was so proud that I was able to do it every day like you are supposed to. I really envisioned getting to the last day and having to try to cram in a week's worth of homework! The women in our Sunday School class are starting Beth Moore's Daniel this week. I wish I could join them, but one Beth Moore study a semester is enough, I believe.

We talk a lot about what church we will join when we move to Dallas. We are blessed to know A LOT of people our age who have lived in the area we are planning on. So we have plenty of church recommendations. One in particular has really appealed to Jory and he especially likes the way they do their Small Groups. We will try that one first, I am sure. It is in a great location for us, too.

We are having a lot of RSV going around here. So scary. One of the couples from our Sunday School has a daughter in the hospital with it right now! Please pray for the Willis family and for their daughter, Ava. Another friend found out her son has it and he is quarantined for a week. His mama, Courtney, is mostly afraid that she will be insane by the time the week is up.

We are so blessed by this Little Man and all of the joy he brings!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Road Trip

We got up today and headed to Dallas. We left around 8, which is when Aaron goes down for his morning nap. We went to see a house that we have been strongly considering renting when we first move to Dallas. We got there around 10, fed Aaron and saw the house. We then ate at Jake's Burgers which is VERY near the house. Jory is set on the house for that reason alone. Oh, Jake's is so good. I would not let Aaron eat anything in there. I wouldn't even give him the tomato off of my sandwich. Just being in that kitchen must make even a vegetable unhealthy. Aaron had a great time, though. He flirted with every single person in the restaurant. He makes people smile so much and I love it.

After lunch we drove around looking at the areas where we think we may eventually purchase a home and then headed back. We got back around 2, so it was a short trip. Aaron was an absolute angel. He took both his morning and his afternoon naps in the car and they were very good naps. When he was awake, he was very sweet and funny. We have come a long way from his early roadtrips.

We had a delightful time in Dallas and really loved the house. I took my camera, but took zero pictures. I don't know why. Our friends Jessica and Tommy Sutton (Brooks' parents who give us all of his clothes) owned this house and lived in it for six years. A year ago, they moved to Tyler and sold it to Tommy's parents. The Suttons then leased it out to a young man they knew, but he just got a job move to Denver and will be out of the house January 31 (the day before Jory starts his job).

The house is very close to the area where we would probably buy and it is two blocks from White Rock Lake. It is an amazing location in a beautiful neighborhood. It is a bit smaller than what we have now and we spent the way home talking about concessions we would need to make (we would be losing a lot of storage space, but if you have been in our house you know that would happen with any move). We haven't made a final decision yet, but this does open another door for us and the Suttons are very willing to work with us so that they can get renters in the house that they can trust. The Lord is good. We also had a good showing on our house yesterday, but we haven't heard anything yet. We are up to 8 showings in 12 days on the market.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

By 10am today,

Aaron was wearing his third outfit. Here is his first one:
From this picture you actually can't tell that he is covered from head to toe in food. Oh, but he was. I don't even know how it happened. This was actually jar food that I was feeding him. He is much neater when he is feeding himself table food. Here are some pictures of that.See? He doesn't even wear a bib. He has become such a big eater. This is drained taco soup, peaches and peas. He took two helpings of peas and soup. He's a big vegetable eater.

Kimmie came yesterday and was so entertained by Mr. Aaron. He showed off for her all day long - walking and laughing and playing hide and seek. We had such a good day!

Today we went to lunch with Jacquelyn and Emerson Evans. This is Emerson being silly with her Tupperware lid. Below is Aaron laughing at her! Aaron was sooo good at lunch and he lucked out because Jacquelyn ordered a soup that had celery in it. Apparently, Jacquelyn doesn't eat celery, but Aaron does, so he got a whole plate of cooked celery. This does not sound good to most of you, but it sure made Aaron's day.
Here's something that's new in our world. It's a temper tantrum. It ensues when someone has something that Aaron wants and refuses to give it to him. This one involved a bottle of water.

Things have gotten decidedly more busy at our house. A walker is a whole different ballgame and Aaron is into everything, mostly things he's not allowed to have. It's really fun to watch him and I love his curiosity, but it sure keeps me hopping!

Other than chasing Aaron, Jory and I are keeping busy wrapping things up in Tyler. We each go to lunch almost every day with one of our friends. I know we're not moving across the country, but we still want to spend as much time with our friends as we can before we have distance between us.

Jory is wrapping things up at work. He has one week left and then he'll take a week off before he starts in Dallas. He's looking forward to a break and we will probably spend a bit of that time in Dallas looking for houses. We are pretty settled on the area we want to look in and we are doing a little preliminary searching. We aren't planning to buy anything until our house sells, though. As far as that goes, we had another showing today and we have one tomorrow. That will be seven showings in less than two weeks, so we are getting some traffic.

I started a new Beth Moore Bible Study at church on Tuesday. It is one I have been wanting to do, so I was thrilled that GABC offered it. It is a ten week study, though, so I may be driving from Dallas for part of it, but I know it will be worth it. Jory also started a new study on Tuesday. It is on reading, interpreting and applying the Bible. He has really been wanting to do something like this, so he will likely drive from Dallas on Tuesday evenings to finish it after he moves.

I think that's about it here. Both Jory and I are ramping up our exercise routines following the holidays. I am trying to get back into Yoga. I haven't done it since I was pregnant with Aaron and I realized that I am loosing flexibility. Jory has been reviving his old Power90 DVDs and they are giving him a bigger run for his money than he prefers.