We finally made it to VACATION! We have been looking forward to this all summer, and are so glad it’s finally here. I was really nervous about the 12 hour drive to get to Orange Beach, AL. Henry did so great, and we were even able to push through and make it in one day. I’m praying the ride home is a similar story 🙂
All three of us have been LOVING the beach. My favorite part of the trip has been watching Henry’s joy at playing in the sand and the ocean. We have been having a blast playing with beach toys, wading into the ocean, and bringing picnics down to enjoy under the umbrella. Henry only occasionally tries to eat sand and seashells, so I consider that a win!
The first few days we were in Orange Beach, John’s parents were here. We had a lovely time with Nana and Pop. We had “Henry’s Birthday Celebration: Part One” with them on Saturday. Henry got some awesome gifts, smashed a cupcake, and played with his Birthday balloon. What fun!
Today is our last day in Orange Beach before we head over to Florida to spend the weekend with my parents. I can’t wait to celebrate our one-year-old boy on Saturday!
This past weekend John, Henry and I traveled to Memphis for my sister, Elizabeth’s, wedding to Patton. It was a beautiful weekend. I can’t believe Elizabeth and Patton are married! I am beyond thrilled. Our grandfather, Henry Strock, performed the wedding ceremony. It was beyond lovely. His homily spoke to my heart and brought me closer to God. What a blessing!
Elizabeth was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen! Every part of the weekend was such a sweet celebration of her and Patton. The bridesmaids luncheon was so honoring to Elizabeth and the women who have loved her so well, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were lovely, and the wedding was a blast! I can’t wait to see all the pictures from the weekend. In the meantime here are a few I took. It was such a happy day!
I can’t help but share these pictures of Henry as well. Is he not to die for in his wedding outfit? He was such a trooper throughout all the wedding festivities. I was such a proud mama!
While looking through pictures of this past year to make a photo album, I had two thoughts. First, “Wow, Henry has so much hair now!” And second, “I really miss blogging.” It is such a fun way to keep track of and share what our family is doing. Therefore, we are back!
Here’s a short recap of the past five months:
Henry is HUGE. And old. He is 11 months as of last week.
John had an easy month during the month of August. We were able to have a lot of family time. It was such a blessing.
This summer was hot in North Carolina. We enjoyed lots of pool time at the pool in our neighborhood.
We had some fun visitors this summer. Nana, Pop, and Uncle Andrew spent some time with us in May and August, Uncle Hugh came in June, and Aunt Libby and Uncle Patton came in August. We also made a few trips to Memphis to visit Gran and Grandaddy. In August, we visited all of John’s grandparents in Summerville, SC and Carolina Shores, NC. What fun!
Henry loves to walk with his walker. No walking on his own yet, but hopefully soon. He also FINALLY has teeth! He has three bottom teeth, and is working on more 🙂
I have kept up the monthly pictures. One thing is for sure, if I do these with the next baby, I will definitely use stickers. It’s gotten harder and harder to wrangle this active boy, while making sure the card can be seen. This makes for some silly pictures. Here are months 6-10. I haven’t taken his 11 month pictures yet.
I forgot to include in my post from this morning about how ready we are for the NCAA basketball tournament finals tonight! Although the game starts way past his bedtime, Henry is excited to cheer on his team. He is very proud to be a Tar Heel. We have all had fun watching basketball this year. Other than Carolina doing so well, my favorite part of March Madness has definitely been that my bracket is doing better than John Eick’s 🙂
Talk about crazy- last week we had snow and ice; this week we have 70 degree days. We are certainly enjoying this warmer weather and sunshine!
We had lots of fun this weekend!
We walked on the trails in our neighborhood. One of my favorite things about our neighborhood is the great trails. Lucy and I walked on the trails most every day when I was pregnant. I’m looking forward to getting back into that habit as spring approaches.
We went to church as a family. I love it when John’s day off falls on a Sunday so we can spend this time together!
We napped. We took our Sunday nap with the windows open in our room. I loved listening to our neighbors’ wind chimes and smelling the fresh air. Hurry up spring and permanent warm weather!
We had Sunday lunch at the Root Cellar. This is one of my favorite places to eat in Chapel Hill. Their sandwiches, wraps, and salads are so good. And whenever we splurge and get dessert it is unbelievable! My favorite is the French silk pie I split with my mom a few weeks ago 🙂
This was how a lot of yesterday was spent.
For some reason that boy just wouldn’t nap in his crib. I spent a lot of time reflecting on this poem:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow
For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow,
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.
I must admit cuddling with Henry is far superior to cleaning and laundry!
Over the past week I have spent some time reflecting on the past (almost) four months. Life as an Eick has completely changed! My days have gone from revolving around John and myself to revolving around our family of three. Being a mother is so different than I thought it would be—in the best way possible!
Here are some thoughts I have/things I’ve learned over the past four months:
Henry’s joy is my joy. When he laughs, I can’t help but laugh. His happiness brings me more happiness than I knew I could possibly feel.
There is no such thing as too many kisses.
Celebrate the small victories. Nothing makes me happier than to watch Henry grow and develop day by day. It seems like every time I blink, he has learned a new sound or is doing something new and exciting. There is such sweetness in taking a moment to celebrate these little things.
Naptime is sacred.
Henry has a great Dad! Watching John become Henry’s father has made me fall in love with him in a totally new way. He makes being a parent so much fun, and I am so thankful for his love and support.
Some days are hard. Growing up my mom read us the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day. It’s about a boy who wants to run away to Australia because he is having a bad day. The moral of the story is that “some days are hard, even in Australia.” We all have bad days, and that is okay. We just have to keep our head up, persevere, and keep doing the best we can.
This past weekend we had snow in Chapel Hill. It was very exciting! I am used to “snow days” meaning a light dusting of snow. It is fun to experience lots of snow and ice! Our neighborhood has lots of families with kids so it was fun to watch them playing and sledding in the snow. I can’t wait for Henry to be old enough for sledding!
The Eick family snow days included:
Lots of hot chocolate.
D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read) time.
Snowy walks. Pushing the stroller through slush is a great workout!
Taco soup for the adults…
Hands for Henry 🙂
We thought John would have to spend a few days trapped at the hospital, so we packed him a bag (hence the sad face). Good things North Carolinians ice and clear the roads! He made it back and forth to the hospital with no problem.
I made the most delicious apple cake for our trip to Boone last week! I got the recipe from my mom, who got it from a coworker. I LOVE this cake because it is moist, it is a bundt cake, and it is “healthy” because one of the ingredients is apples (you know what they say: “an apple (cake) a day…”). My biggest tip for anyone making this cake is to butter and flour the bundt pan really well…
It was all fun and games…
We were all upset, but only for a moment!
May not be magazine-cover perfect, but it still tasted delicious! We may or may not have even consumed it as both a dessert and a breakfast food. Vacation is the best!
Here is the recipe I used:
Ingredients for Cake:
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 ½ cups white sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 cups flour
2-½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 ½ cups (about 4-5 medium) apple peeled and chopped (very small pieces)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tsp vanilla
Ingredients for Caramel Icing:
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
For the cake: preheat the oven to 325, then:
Butter and flour your bundt pan (verrrry important!!!).
Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Cream oil, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs together in a large bowl.
Slowly add dry ingredients.
Stir in chopped apples, walnuts, and vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 ½ hours.
Remove from oven, let rest for about 10 minutes, loosen with a knife, and transfer cake from the pan to the baking rack.
For the Icing:
Heat brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter in a small saucepan until bubbling.
Yesterday was a hard day. Henry was fussy; I was tired; it was freezing cold outside. As I put Henry to bed, I felt defeated. We all know that feeling. It can be so discouraging. John is working nights this week, so I cleaned up a bit, watched “Flip or Flop” on Netflix, and started getting ready to go to sleep. I decided to break one of my rules and peak at Henry in the nursery before crawling into bed. I am so glad I did. As I looked down on my sweet, sleeping boy, my heart grew and grew and grew (I’m imagining the Grinch here). I remembered how much I love my son and my life. Being Henry’s mom brings me so much joy. To me, this is worth a billion hard days. He is a precious gift and I’m so thankful he is part of my life. This experience reminded me how important it is to stop, smell the roses (or peak in the nursery, in my case), and remember that I have much to be thankful for.
We had a wonderful time in Boone last week! It was so nice to get away as a family. We loved spending time together, eating yummy food, and doing some hiking!
Boone is a really cool town. My favorite part about it was the Christmas tree farms-they were everywhere! It was fun to drive around and see fields full of Christmas trees.
We stayed in this adorable cabin. It was perfect for our trip! It had a great kitchen and fireplace. There was even a great fenced in area for Lucy.
One morning we hiked part of the way up Elk Knob mountain. It was so much fun because there was snow on the ground. We only made it about halfway up because we were worried about Henry getting too cold. The high for the day was 32!
I loved getting out of town with our little family. I’m so glad we decided to do it! When we got home from Boone, my mom came in town to visit for the weekend (talk about a great week!). Henry LOVED spending time with his Gran and I soaked up every moment spent with my mom. She is such a special person. She is both my dear, dear friend and my role model. Needless to say, all the Eicks were sad to see her go yesterday!
Now, it’s back to reality here in Chapel Hill. We are praying our way through today as both Henry and I are not in the greatest of moods. I have definitely had the opportunity to practice mindfulness. On tough days it is so easy to get caught up in being stressed or frustrated. However, taking a moment for a few deep breaths can make a world of difference!