Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Year in Review

What in the world!?  Another year down?  Wow, time seriously flies.

2011 was a big year for us.  Summed up in these words:

Saying "see ya later's"
International Move
Pregnancy (aka weeks of nausea :)
Settling in
Trips to Ikea
Summer Camps
Trip to Poland
Learning to drive stick shift
Church Visits
Language Classes
Public Transportation
Building Relationships
Meeting Neighbors
New friends
Trip to Vienna
Birth of our daughter
Family Visits
Becoming parents

I'm sure that's not an exhaustive list...but it's a start!  And one of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to look back over pictures from that year.  Then I like to find ones that probably didn't make it to the blog and put them up :)

Some edited, some not, some previously seen here, some not.  So here it is...2011!

JANUARY:  snow at the beach

FEBRUARY:  1) Elise around 5 weeks...first ultrasound!
2) Valentine's Day in Virginia

MARCH:  Last meal at Bojo's before leaving for Slovakia

APRIL:  Jas spent many hours putting together lots of Ikea furniture for our flat

MAY:  horrendous picture, but funny nonethless...pregnancy photo around 4.5/5 months

JUNE:  first grillin' nights.  charcoal grill.  Jas loved it.

JULY:  1) Brooke and I at my baby shower (thanks Ridgecrest!)
2)  Maternity shoot photo...lots of love for baby E

AUGUST:  1) Cute building in Vienna
2)  Jester during a performance at one of the castles we attended with a team from California

SEPTEMBER:  1) Unsuccessful attempt at blondie brownies for Jason's birthday...oops.
2)  Elise Noelle arrives!

OCTOBER:  First parent-given bath :)

NOVEMBER:  1)  Very real family photo...haha!
2)  Oh. No.  The first glimpse of rolled eyes...

DECEMBER:  1) After language study relaxing.
2)  Christmas tree goodness.

What. a. year.  We are thankful for 2011, but looking forward to 2012! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All Things Christmas

Well, we are thankful to have had a relaxing past few days...and I just haven't gotten around to getting Christmas pictures up.

But now it's time.  This Christmas was different for us not being with family and being in a whole new location, plus having Christmas with our first child!  But while it was different, it was also refreshing.

We got up and read Luke 2 together, prayed, and talked about the true meaning and importance of Christmas (that of the birth of Christ, our Savior).  Then it was breakfast time, followed by opening presents.

Later in the day we skyped with our families, which was great (I failed to get pictures of that, though...was just trying to be all in the moment).   In between opening presents and talking with family, we watched a few Christmas movies, and ended the night sleeping under a! :)

Photo play-by-play?  Why of course!  Here ya go...

Christmas morning photos with the little.

Playing with her new friend Olivette the Owl (yes, the owl really has a name :)

Showing her a new sweater.

She really liked this new book...haha.

Funny story:  See those pictures of our friend Tom above?  Yep, that's my Christmas present from the hubby.  I had asked for some red Tom's shoes which Jas ordered, buttttt they got lost in the mail and hadn't yet made it here to us in Slovakia on Christmas day (still haven't).  So Jas, being the creative guy that he is, printed off a bunch of red-toned "Toms" for me to have on Christmas morning...haha!  I love that man of mine.

And one of my favorites from the day...

No fort pictures this year, certainly.

It was, indeed, a unique Christmas, but we were thankful to be together.  And speaking of being together, Jas and I celebrated three years of marriage two days after Christmas.  We enjoyed the day with M&M pancakes for breakfast (yum!) and a dinner out.  (Thanks, families, for the cards, and Holloway's for watching Elise so we could enjoy time together :)

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 27

Three Years ago today I married my best friend. She is an amazing wife, loving mother, and humble servant of God. I am blessed to have her as my wife. I love you sweetheart! Thanks for marrying me! I look forward to many, many, many more years of life together!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Three Months!

We no longer have a newborn...what!?  Elise is now officially three whole months old!

Weight:  At last check she was 11 pounds and 6 ounces...we'll find out her new weight in a few days.

Major Milestones:  Oh wow, many this past month...rolling from her back to her side, grabbing things and holding them, smiling, studying her hands intently, and she's found her thumb.  It's been a big last couple of weeks!

Sidenotes:  She sleeps 9 hours at night, almost every night, and she hardly takes naps during the day.  She's a major fan of her daddy.  And our girl can't get enough of bath time...she does great!

That little three monther makes us smile :)

Friday, December 23, 2011


We have an awesome Slovak language tutor that we've blogged about before.  Her name is Terezia and she's Slovak through and through.  We pretty much love her.

Recently she came over and brought us some "oblatky."  These oblatky are thin, decorated wafers that are very popular around Christmas time.  They have symbols on them that represent Christ and His birth and resurrection.

Not only did she bring us the wafers, but she also taught us the traditional way of eating them.

Flashing that grin as Terezia prepares the oblatky.

All you do is slice your garlic very thinly, layer it with honey, and then create a wafer sam-ich (which means place another one on top :)

Admittedly the spicy garlic and sweet honey combo was NOT my fav.

However, Jas was a fan...

Can you tell he's really good at that cheesy grin?

I'll give it an A+ for a neat Slovak tradition, and in my personal opinion, I'll give it an F for taste.  However, Jas would strongly disagree and give it two A+'s!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

To the Market We Went...

Ah, Christmas, Christmas...three days away, WHAT!?

So in the spirit of Christmas, we tagged along with the Holloway's and Doyle's for their annual trip to the Vienna Christmas market.

We thoroughly enjoyed it.  The atmosphere was top notch, the food, of course was off the chain, and the company...exquisite!  We had a really good time.

I managed to get some photos in between nursing, checking on that hobbling husband of mine (he had to take it very slow), and eating!

Al and some cute girl in a lot of pink.

Bad lighting, but a family photo in front of all those awesome ornaments.

The one good group photo of the night (except Tom ducked out, and Mary is barely visible back there).  Please note how Jason is standing...he was either walking or standing the whole night, my poor waddling man.

Kara and Ellie.

Ben and, oh, who's that again?

Speaking of that little star, here she is herself...

And I'll end with one of my favorite photos of the night.  We loved all the lights and decorations.  Take these for example, they looked like chandeliers...

Great time.  Maybe next year we'll be able to go and both Jas and Elise can join me in walking ;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

First Snow!

Today we experienced our first Bratislavan snow.  That means it was also Elise's first-in-life snow ;)

Doesn't it kind of look like she's making a snow angel?

We're lovin' the snow over here!

Monday, December 19, 2011

10 Things I Love About Babies

It's true, I've only been a mom (to one baby) for about three months now.  So that really doesn't give me a whole lot of experience, however, I'll call myself qualified enough to have come up with these top 10 things I love about babies (or rather, having a baby).

In no particular order...
1.  The smell.  That sweet baby smell.  Powdery fresh and new smelling (does that even make sense?) until fluids of all sorts exit that little body, but still that baby scent = perfection.

2.  The extremities.  Namely fingers and toes.  Barely visible nails.  So tiny and small.  Oh, preciousness.

3.  The cooing.  Love the funny sounds.  That's all...just adorable.

4.  The button.  The belly button, of course.  Have you ever seen a cuter, smaller button than a baby's?  Nope.

5.  The fuzzy hair.  Fine baby hair, so soft and clean. Love it.

6.  The learning.  New discoveries abound each day as they grow.  Our latest fascination is with the hands (and her newfound thumb!)

7.  The growth.  Seriously they grow SO fast.  You'd think I fed her Miracle Grow overnight! While this is sad too (because it's already going so fast!), I also love it because it's pretty neat to see them grow and learn (see #6).

8.  The eyes.  Those big baby blues (in our case). So sweet.

9.  The relationship(s).  Particularly watching her develop one with her daddy.  She knows his voice, responds to his'll work on the heart, I tell ya.

10.  The quiver lip.  Love me that pouty face.  Though it means a cry is coming, the face beforehand is worth it.  The bottom lip sticks out, starts to quiver, and then the full out cry...plain adorable.

Adorable. Cute. Precious.  Did I use enough of those words in this post? I think so!  But man, babies got it covered.  Especially this one (I guess you could say I'm slightly partial ;)

And for the record, so I don't lose all mom points, I did go find the girl an outfit that fit after this photo shoot (see photo #2)!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ohhh Surgery...

Man, oh man, these last three months have been medically challenging for us Palmers.  Granted, I am always reminded that these "medical challenges" have been minor in comparison to what they could have been, so in that regard, we're thankful.  But nonetheless, it's been new and different for us to experience three different surgeries (if you include post-birth operations) in three months!

It's been tough, at times, and I've wanted to complain and cry.  And, well, to be honest, I've done both. Ick. I've also been un-Christlike in many ways. I've seen my true, sinful heart come out often. Again, ick. I've also learned a lot during these times.

But, we're making it.  One small scar at a time ;)

Speaking of scars, Jas will have a decent sized one after the removal of his cyst yesterday.  We are certainly glad all was removed and went well. He is now handling the pain like a champ and resting it up.  And while he's handling the pain well, I, on the other hand, am not handling sticking cotton balls one inch deep into his back...eeeeep (I'm a weenie when it comes to blood and such, or rather when it comes to seeing my hubby's tail bone...yikes!)

And, on a lighter, less gory note, I just have to include this lil pre-operation pic of my two favorites.

Ah, another surgery down, and hopefully it'll be awhile before we hit up the hospital again... ;)
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