The Williamsons

The Williamsons

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Alice is 2!

Brace yourselves for a big dose of Alice pictures and videos. We've had a month of fun and excitement, including our trip to Idaho/Utah and Alice's 2nd birthday.

Here are some videos, for starters:


Due to my inability to calculate time and our desire to not be rushed in the airport, we were super early for our flight out of Pittsburgh, so we got to explore the airport and eat lots of food. This is a robot/transformer-thing made out of Pittsburgh bridges.

She was very, very excited about the chocolate peanut butter frozen yogurt smoothie. She would sip for about 15 seconds at a time, and each time she had a turn with the smoothie we'd get nervous there'd be none left for us.

Grandpa Earl

Though we weren't planning for our trip to be focused around my grandpa, the timing was so, so perfect for us. A few days after we arrived in Idaho, my grandpa went to the hospital. My mom and I went down to see him for a day, and I got to hear him tell me some of his amazing stories of growing up. He knew I was there and recognized me, whereas if it had been a day later, he may not have. He passed away a few days later. My only regret would have been if I hadn't gotten to spend some time with him before he died, since the previous time I'd seen him had been almost 2 years earlier (when Alice was a few months old).

My grandpa lived an incredible life full of love, sacrifice, and hard work. He loved the Lord, loved his family, loved his country, and loved learning and teaching. At age 94, he had lived a long and full life. I am confident that death is not the end, that he is happy being reunited with Grandma Jean and Grandma Ruth, and that family relationships continue beyond the grave. His funeral was a joyous celebration of an exemplary life. Here's a link to his obituary:

Alice walking from the church to the burial site
 After the funeral we spent some time at Grandpa's house. So many memories there! He built the house himself (twice--much of it burned at one point, and he rebuilt it).
This is where I learned from my mom to literally stop and smell the roses. (And as a girl I remember learning what a rose smells like here)

Family treat at Leatherbys, where my grandpa would take grandkids if they earned good grades. I wasn't part of this tradition because we lived far away, but I enjoyed participating in it for my first time right after my master's graduation (which I missed)!

Grandpa's 5 kids

It was really neat to see him honored for his military service in WWII.

Lotsa Family Time

Mother's Day with the whole crew minus the Florida folk. Alice was a bit intimidated by these people at first, but then she grew to love them all.

Alice talks about Michael a lot, so it was good they finally got to spend some quality time together.

"Artwork" made by these silly kids

 We all went to Lagoon and had a great time! While Ryan and I went on the big kid rides, Gma and Gpa tried to convince Alice to go on some of the little kid rides. She was a bit hesitant, but she did love the train ride, so we all went on it again later.
I'm shocked but proud that she went on this.

Train ride

Grandma taking care of the kids while we do the mandatory Tiltawhirl with Jonathan

Scrambler is another must-ride (good memories). 
 Spending some time with Aunt Molly . . .

Her new shades, acquired from Aunt Donna's house

At the zoo with Grandma Linda and Grandpa Lyle
Saying hi to the otter at the zoo 

She loved this outdoor playhouse! The best part was the field of pebbles that was near it so, she could pretend the pebbles were food (I think).

She was very interested in the sewing machines while Grandma Linda was teaching her sewing classes (Kiersten is a student, which made the sewing machines even more awesome in Alice's opinion)

She got this xylophone from Great Grandpa Earl's toy room.

Playing at Aunt Evie's house

I wish I had a picture with them both reaching into the bowl at the same time, because they were going crazy over this popcorn.

For the record, I did not set this picture up. They are this cute on their own.

We hiked to the top of the Menan Butte - it was really pretty!

In Utah, we met up with Ryan's Aunt Meg. Alice warmed up to Aunt Meg because she gave her food :)

Freshman roomies! Two of us live faaaaaar from UT, but we happened to be visiting at the same time. Missing from this picture: 5 more kids

Celebrating Alice's Birthday

We got together to celebrate Alice's birthday. It was fun to have a party with family!
Alice made the kid table cool again

She was all about that chocolate torte

The exhilaration of gift-opening

Kiersten sewed her this blanket. She loves it so much, and when she plays with it she often says "Kiersten made it!"

Kiersten also passed on some ponies to Alice. She loves them!

Precious photo, no?

Alice LOVED the cousin time! She was in awe of them the whole time, watching everything they did. I loved that they would just be outside playing together for long periods of time.

These two had a special bond. After one of our first days in ID, Kiersten said longingly, "I want a sister!"

Partying Back in the 'Burgh

Of course a two-year-old cannot just have one day of parties and present opening. We got home to packages, and then more packages and cards came in the mail over the next week. The icing on the cake was when the final package came--a week and a half after her birthday. It was a box I packed in ID of stuff we didn't want to take on the airplane, including some presents she had already opened. When we got it, she once again was convinced it was her birthday. "More presents?" is a common phrase nowadays.
Alice had plenty of presents to open on her real birthday

She looks so old in this picture!

She's been pretty obsessed with these breakfast foods since she got them.

The box of books mommy and daddy ordered thankfully came on her birthday

The bubble wrap was one of her favorite parts

The bubblewrap "dress" was her favorite part of this gift. We enjoyed watching her struggle to keep the dress on while bending down and picking up her doll.

I love her "surprise" face. With each gift or card she opened, she would gasp as though it were the most amazing thing.

Back to Regular Life

Apparently Alice learned some useful things from her cousins, who also had fun putting foam stickers all over their bodies while we were in ID

Note: Now that I'm a grownup, I decided for myself that it's okay to mix playdough colors, and doing so makes playing with playdough much more fun for me.

I caught Alice kindly giving her doll a drink of water . . . 
 I was pulling out the winter clothes so I could put them away for the season. Our house was like 80 degrees and she refused to take this coat off.

 And the hat continued to be a hit . . .

Holding on to her new pig for dear life before daddy gives her a ride down the hall in the wagon (I sewed this pig and her piglets when I was in middle school, and we just brought them from ID. Alice really likes her "PIGGIES!", which makes me feel good about my sewing capabilities of old.)

By turning 2 she has graduated to being mommy's kitchen helper. PS we found a new recipe for chocolate cookies, and it's killer.

Saying goodbye to her friend who is leaving for the summer. We look over and she's feeding him her ice cream! That shows real commitment on her part. She spent some time with this friend almost every week, as they were kind enough to watch Alice when I had class on Fridays. She is a bit obsessed with him and often asks if we're going to his house.

Prepping our bikes for the season. The next day we went on a 20-mile ride on some trails and downtown to Point Park. Alice was so excited to see her helmet again that she of course had to  wear it while eating breakfast that morning. She also loved the bike ride, despite the serious face. 

At one point on the bike ride, Alice was saying something that I couldn't really understand. She sounded like it was important, so I was listening carefully and then realized she was saying "Shoe dropped" over and over. Sure enough, she had kicked off her shoe, we went back and found it just a few minutes back on the trail! I'm very grateful that she's always been conscientious about not losing things like hats, mittens, and now shoes.

We love our Pittsburgh!