Justin and I were able to go cross country skiing with Jon and Jlyn while they were here visiting. It really was a lot of fun....and COLD! Yes, that's Justin with icicles on his eyebrows! It was pretty amazing! I wore a hat that completely covered my face except my eyes, but then I got too hot and switched to my flower hat. Within minutes my hair was frozen! No, I did not frost my hair in that picture.
A better closeup of Justin's amazingness! A frozen Jon and Jlyn!
We survived our outing with stinging toes and fingers (almost to the point of complete numbness), frozen faces and freezing body temperatures. Then we got the brilliant idea to visit the Chugach State Park. It's a short drive up a mountain. Beautiful views, but -30 degree weather! We ran to the lookout point to try and stay warm but then we couldn't catch our breath because we were so cold. But we got some amazing views of Anchorage and Denali (Mt. McKinley...North America's tallest peak).
We finally made it to Joelle's first birthday! Today she turned 1! Wow! We celebrated a few days early with Justin's family while they were here for a late Christmas gathering. This was the birthday of little chairs.
We gave Joelle a rocking moose (no horses in moose country!) My mom and dad gave Joelle a rocking recliner and ottoman: And Justin's parents gave Joelle a rocking chair:
She absolutely LOVES all of these gifts! She eagerly climbs onto each one and is so proud of herself when she gets them rocking. She is very excited to have her own piece of furniture that she can get on herself.
Joelle also has been walking for about 1 month and last week decided that crawling is "so last year". She is walking everywhere now and getting into everything. We have designated her own drawer in the kitchen. It is full of lids and she loves to pull them out every chance she gets. She loves to get her exercise by climbing the stairs....however she still has not learned how to climb back down. She loves to clap her hands, laugh, and say "mama", "dada", "baba", and loves to move her tongue from side to side while making noises. She no longer eats baby food....which is making my life SO MUCH EASIER! She also can sign "more" for more food and "all done" when she's done eating. That has also made our lives SO MUCH EASIER!
Joelle has blessed our lives immensely this past year. We have watched her grow from a 7 pound 2 ounce baby into a 20 pound toddler. We have watched her cries turn into smiles and laughs, her little arms give hugs, her mouth gives kisses, and her presence turn into love.
Our family has recently moved to Anchorage, AK for Justin's career in the Army. We have one daughter, Joelle, and two golden retriever dogs, Ellie and Ben. We are lovers of the Lord, each other, music, coffee, The Office, and so much more!