Monday, December 29, 2014

Halloween 2014

Nora was just a tiny thing on her first Halloween in 2013, and we were in Madrid where it’s not as widely celebrated as it is here in the US so we didn’t wear orange and black or even take a picture. (In fact, like many of those early days, I don’t remember it at all.) So while it is technically her 2nd Halloween, it was her first to dress up and have lots of fun! In fact, we had a couple of different outfits to wear during the week of Halloween. Not sure why since I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, but she sure looked cute and festive!



On Halloween evening, we went out to our cul-de-sac where our neighbors host their annual Halloween cook-out. When Nora woke up for her nap that day and saw all the people outside our front window, she got so excited. We hurried to get her costume on so that we could go out to join in on the fun as soon as Dad got home!




Nora was a flamenco dancer for her first second Halloween. Somehow amidst the chaos of an international move, Luke and I managed to remember to buy her costume (dress, shoes, bow, fan – the whole package!) before leaving Madrid. She was the cutest little dancer I’ve ever seen and managed to walk in her heels like she’d been doing it her whole life! (I think she really liked the tapping sound when she walked across hard surfaces!)




We stayed outside for a couple of hours where Nora got to play with the big girls and see all the crazy costumes. (She was not fond of a big guy in a bear mask!) We didn’t go trick or treating this year since she’s still so young but still managed to have plenty of fun!



Once the sun went down and the fire pit got going, the baby got sleepy and the mama got tired of making sure she didn’t get too close to the fire. I took Nora in and got her to bed, and then joined Luke and the neighbors back in the circle (baby monitor in hand!) for some more fun. Seriously, our sweet girl makes every holiday more fun!


Nora definitely perfected her “ho, ho, ho” after this video was taken, but I think this is the only one I ever caught on video and better than nothing! If you were around her at all this holiday season, I’m sure you heard it in person. This will help us remember all the Christmas joy she brought for years to come. Merry Christmas to all!

Nora’s First Birthday Fiesta

We celebrated Nora’s first birthday on Saturday, October 11 and paid homage to her homeland with a Spanish fiesta!

We decorated with red and yellow, the colors of Spain’s national flag. Everything was home crafted, and while we didn’t go all out, the things we did have made it seem more festive than a normal family get together. I wanted to make it a special for the little birthday girl (even though she didn’t know it was all for her!), and I enjoyed the crafting!

DSC_4087Olive oil favors that said “Thanks to olive you, turning one was lots of fun!”

DSC_4088Polka dot letters and fabric garland! The garland was so simple to make and could be done for all kinds of occasions!

DSC_4090(1)Fabric garland around the highchair. It’s cuter with that sweet girl sitting in it!

In true Millie (and Luke) fashion, we had way too much food! (I think know that we still have paella frozen in our freezer.) In addition to a huge paella full of chicken, seafood and veggies, we also had: bocadillos de calamari, homemade tortilla Espanola, cheese, membrillo, jamon, bread, olives, arroz con leche, flourless chocolate cake, and of course, homemade cake with yellow frosting for the birthday girl. Beverages were flowing as well with vino, cerveza and of course, sangria, to choose from. (Don’t worry! There was lemonade and water for the young ones Winking smile)



Luke welcomed everybody two times – once in English and then, upon request, in Spanish. (We just wanted to be sure everyone had an authentic experience!) We ate and ate and ate. We watched Nora open gifts and eat cake. (She was a bit timid and didn’t get too messy.) We played outside with new toys and enjoyed wonderful time together.

DSC_4092“Come on! I’m ready to get started!”

DSC_4094Helping Dad make a toast!

DSC_4095Nonnie’s girl

PA117027Getting little help from Shelb

PA117028Reading birthday cards with Coleman

PA117030Birthday girl

PA117033“What’d you get?”


DSC_4099“I’m not so sure about this…”

DSC_4103“You really want me to eat this?”

DSC_4104“Are you sure, Mom?”

DSC_4109“Okay. Here I go.”

DSC_4110“What is this stuff?!?”

DSC_4112 “I’m going all in!”

DSC_4119“Que rico!! Me gusta!”

DSC_4123What? Your children don’t play with knives?

DSC_4126And a little help from Nonnie to finish it up!

DSC_4121Our family of 3

It was a perfect day celebrating our baby’s first year, and our first year as parents with the ones we love. Thank you to all who have supported us, encouraged us, and most importantly, loved our sweet girl! It wouldn’t be the same without you all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


This Christmas has already been so much more fun now that we have little Nora to share things with! Even though she surely doesn’t understand it all, she loves all the lights, trees, decorations, and most of all, Santa!

Nora’s obsession with Santa began a couple of weeks ago after we started reading a book called Baby’s First Christmas. It’s a really cute book that just has simple pictures of common Christmas things: a Christmas tree, presents, candy canes, etc. We look at the book, point to each picture and say what it is. Nora really took a liking to Santa, and she learned how to say it really well, really fast! Now she points him out all over the place. (He really is everywhere!) And now she’s even started saying, “Ho, ho, ho” after she says “Santa” most times (though I’m yet to catch that on video!) It’s the first thing she says when she wakes up (literally), and the last thing she says before she goes to bed.  While she won’t sit still for any type of cartoon or kid’s show, she’ll stand and dance and watch YouTube videos of animated Christmas songs (as long as the iPad is out of her reach!) The girl really, really loves Santa!

IMG_2421(1)Milk and Santa videos…what more can a girl ask for!

Her obsession is simultaneously hilarious, and the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure what we’re going to do when Christmas is over! We may have to start celebrating year round!

Nora says Santa!

Hopefully I’ll be able to catch a “ho,ho,ho” on video soon to add to this post as well. This is one Christmas memory I don’t ever want to forget!