Thursday, December 27, 2012


Eliana's checking out the snow.  She didn't like to touch it (made her cry), but she did like watching Daddy shovel it!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pintrest, eat your heart out!

Christmas card display 2012

The bow
I love sending and getting Christmas cards.  The past two years, I have been able to display my Christmas cards on the ledge that ran along the long wall of our apartment in Indianapolis.  The ledge was MADE for displaying Christmas cards.  I loved it!  This year, however, I was at a real loss for how to display the cards in our new house.  Wherever they went, they had to be at least four feet off of the ground, otherwise little fingers would rip them to shreds.  I looked online at purchasing a card display, but all the things I found were expensive and needed something to sit on.  I really wanted something wall or door mounted, so that it didn't take up a lot of space.  That's when I thought of Pintrest!  Surely this site of DIY crafts would have some ideas for how to hang my Christmas cards.  And it did not disappoint!  Inspired by several pictures on Pintrest, I came up with our Christmas card display!

It was really easy and very cheap.  All I did was use some Command mounting adhesive to tape Christmas ribbon on the wall.  Command products are not supposed to damage the wall, so here's hoping that holds true when I take this down!  I put a little bow in the center so it looks like the wall is a wrapped Christmas present, right?  Then I have just been putting the cards on the ribbon using paper clips.  Don't see your card up there?  Well that's because you haven't sent it to me yet!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

One more stocking to hang this year!

Advent wreath ready to light

Blurry I know, but check out Eliana's pretty hair

Eliana's favorite thing to do - bite!  I hope she is just teething and this stage doesn't last long.  Also a close up of her ponytail.  Her hair is getting so long!

Another hair picture.  She didn't leave this one on for long though.
 I've started decorating for Christmas here at home.  All of our decorations have to be at least four feet off the ground because Eliana gets into everything!  I don't think we will do a tree this year since we will be in Indy for Christmas anyway.  Maybe next year when Eliana is a little older and might appreciate it a little more.
The Advent wreath is a really important tradition for me.  I love having one on our table to light before the evening meal.  I was a little slow getting ours out this year because we didn't have any candles.  We burned the ones we had down to nubs last year, so I just threw them away with the thought that I would buy new ones.  Finally on Saturday I went to the store.  I wasn't sure where to go, so I just googled Christian stores and stumbled upon what might be the best store in Columbus!  The closest Christian store to us is a place called Generations Religious Gifts and Church Supply.  I had no idea what it was or even if it was Catholic or not (since I just looked on Google map) but I figured they would probably have Advent candles.  You would have no idea looking at the store from the outside what treasures it holds on the inside.  It is AMAZING!  The store has anything Catholic you could ever want!  My favorite part was the children's section.  If Eliana was just a little older, I could have easily spent tons of money.  They have so many fun toys!  They have board games like "The Priest Board Game", "Trivial Pursuit Bible Version", and "Apples to Apples Bible Edition".  They had Pope t-shirts and vocation dolls (they had a priest and a sister, but the box said you can collect all six - I wonder what the other four vocation dolls are?).  They had children's bibles of all kinds, pop up Noah's ark books, books about how to be God's Princess or Knight, and books with titles like "Where do Sisters come from?".  Craft kits included build your own tabernacle and make your own stole.  And my absolute favorite was My Mass Kit which is a collection of soft stuffed toys like a chalice and hosts.  How awesome is that?!?  What Catholic child wouldn't love to have a gift like that?  Seriously, I loved it.  If you live in Columbus, you have to check it out.  I might just take Rebecca and Ben there when they come to visit.  I think they might appreciate it as much as I do.  In the end, I just bought Advent candles and a couple of books for Eliana.  The best part about Christmas shopping with a baby?  They have no idea you are buying their presents right in front of them!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

11 Months Old

Happy 11 months Baby Girl!  Eliana is almost a year old!  Can you believe it?  According to my own measurements (which were very difficult with our squirmy baby), Eliana weighs 20.5lbs (50th to 75th percentile) and is 30in long (75th to 90th percentile).  I don't think either measurement was extremely accurate, but it was the best we could do with a bathroom scale and a tape measure.

And she is getting very close to walking.  Perhaps by her first birthday?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December!

"Uh oh, Mom caught me playing where I'm not supposed to!"

Eliana likes to help clean the kitchen.

See, she's putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher

Being helpful again - raking leaves!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

These pictures are actually from Abby and Mike's wedding back in October, but I was just looking through some of our old pictures and ran across these.  I thought Eliana's mohawk hair was too cute not to share.

I didn't really take any pictures over Thanksgiving otherwise I would post some for you.  My picture taking has declined greatly as Eliana is getting older.  I used to take about twenty of her a day, just sitting in her bouncy seat or smiling at me.  Now I don't even take that many in a week.  That's probably a bad sign for any future children we have. 

We had several celebrations for Thanksgiving.  It started out with my sister Abby coming to visit the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Mike was out hunting so she decided to spend the weekend with us instead.  We had a mini Thanksgiving feast with my brother Michael and his fiance Melissa, Abby, and the three of us.  I have hosted a meal like this once before, but I didn't make the turkey.  So this was the first time I made all of Thanksgiving - from turkey to pumpkin pie.  I think things went pretty well after a small hitch to start out with.  Abby brought us a frozen turkey that she was giving at work.  I had read my cookbook on making a turkey and planned on just thawing it in cold water.  That shouldn't take too long, right?  Wrong!  Somehow I misread the directions and thought it took 30 minutes to thaw a turkey.  It actually takes 30 minutes PER POUND!  So a 13lb turkey is now going to take me about 6 hours to thaw instead of 30 minutes.  I hopped on the internet and felt a little reassured when I read this from TLC Cooking: "Each year, thousands of Americans attempt to cook their first Thanksgiving turkey. These same people quickly realize it takes a heck of a lot more work to thaw out a frozen turkey than they might have initially planned."  Luckily that website also told me that you can thaw a turkey pretty darn quick in your microwave if it is big enough. 
Into the microwave our turkey went, and an hour and a half later, the bird was ready to cook!  I might have had a little panic right there at the end of the meal prep when everything was finishing up at the same time.  However my family quickly came to the rescue and helped me put everything on the table.  For my first time completely making the meal, I'd say it went pretty well.  Plus we all had fun just hanging out.  It was so nice having my sister come to visit. 

Originally on Thanksgiving David was supposed to work, but one of the interns he is working with offered to trade him days.  So David actually had the day off.  We made a quick trip to Indianapolis to spend the day with his family.  We had a great time seeing everyone and getting to spend a little time relaxing.  Eliana played on the swing set and jungle gym in the park behind David's parents house.  She laughed so much when her Aunt Rhonda and I pretended that she was  knocking into us from the swing.  David's dad always makes the best turkey so we enjoyed a delicious meal.  Then back to Columbus we came.  It was an unexpected day off and a wonderful blessing to get to spend it with those we love. 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday too.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Meal Time

Although this picture is really about the broccoli in her hand, I did want to make sure you notice her amazing eyelashes!
"So what has Eliana been eating lately?" I am sure that question has been on your mind.  Well she is eating more and more things every day.  She loves all her baby food jar purees.  She would probably eat ten jars a day if I feed them to her.  My homemade purees, however, she is not such a fan.  I have found some ways to get her to eat them though.  She didn't like the mashed sweet potatoes that I made, but loved them when I mixed it with plain yogurt (even though I thought that tasted pretty strange).  And one of Eliana's favorite breakfasts is "Eggs Florentine."  I make her scrambled eggs with pureed spinach and she loves it!.  But now that she has some teeth and is getting older, I have been moving past purees into more solid food.  Eliana loves things that she can hold and munch on.  She has been eating carrot sticks, apple slices, and steamed broccoli.  She likes hummus, avocados, cottage cheese, and shredded chicken.  She is developing quite a diverse palette.  Her latest talent, which quite surprised me, is drinking from a cup.  Eliana has always been interested in drinking from my glass when I get a cup of water.  So I tried letting her have a cup of her own, and she did great!  She actually drank better from that than she does her sippy cup.  She can hold it and sip from it without any help!  But she is prone to spills.  Oh well, that's what bibs are for.

And now, for your viewing pleasure... check out Eliana dancing to some music while David feeds her!  She loves music and loves to dance!  This was so funny.  She was eating dinner when a song came on with a loud beat.  She would stop eating, bob up and down for a bit, and then stop for another bite.  Then she would dance again.  She thought it was hilarious when we started dancing too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

10 months old!

Eliana and her bear posed for some more pictures last week.  She is wearing her new fleece, which I think makes her look old - like a toddler and not a baby anymore.  Can you believe how much she has changed since she was first born?  It has been fast ten months.  According to my bathroom scale, she now weighs 20lbs which is between the 50th and 75th percentile for her age.  She is crawling all of the place, pulling up on the coffee table and bathroom tub, and is impossible to put diapers on.  She also loves to pull her socks off and then chew on her feet.  And best of all she loves giving hugs. 

Mike and Abby's Wedding in the Virgin Islands

The view from our hotel balcony on St. Thomas, US Virgin Island.

Eliana's ready for the beach!  She wanted to bring her rubber duckie to the pool.

There were tons of iguanas on the island!

The beautiful bride and me

Hanging out in the shade at the pool.  She really liked swimming in the pool and chasing balls.

Worn out after a day at the pool.

David, Chad,Sarah, and Mike playing a game of basketball in the pool.

View of the sunrise from my hotel room.  As the mother of a 9 month old, I was blessed to be able to watch the sunrise just about every morning we were in the Virgin Islands.  Thanks Eliana!

St. John US Virgin Island - David along with some others took a day trip to this other island.  He said it was beautiful!

St. John's

Mike's parents enjoying a Dirty Monkey.

Beautiful Beach on St. John's.  David went snorkeling here.

St. John's

Back at the resort, David, Rebecca, Rebecca's boyfriend Ben, and I all went snorkeling.  Abby actually took this picture from my hotel room balcony.  See all the coral?!

Eliana wanted to stay up late and party with us at the Caribbean Luau on Thursday night. 

Love!  Eliana napping on Daddy.

Getting ready for the wedding.
I was Abby's Matron of Honor.  Although Abby and Mike got married at Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral, they did have a reception on Meghan's Bay beach.  We watched the sun set from the beach.  What a wonderful way to celebrate an amazing couple!
Gorgeous!  Abby had a lovely wedding dress which was made by the same designer as my wedding dress!

Rebecca, Abby, Me, and my Mom

Back at the resort - Mike and Abby's first dance.

My dad and Abby during the father daughter dance.  Abby is wear Grandpa's hat (Retzner family tradition).

My dad wore Chucks for the wedding!

And finally, on our way home.  Eliana did okay on the plane ride to the islands, but she was a crazy ball of energy on the way home.  Luckily for our five hour flight there was an extra seat for her.  Otherwise she hung out in our arms, climbing all over us, laughing, crying, and talking.
Finally, here are some of my pictures from our trip to the Virgin Islands for my sister Abby's wedding.  She was such a beautiful bride, and she and Mike looked so happy.  We stayed at an all inclusive resort and had a grand party for four days prior to the wedding.  Eliana survived her first plane ride and did surprising well with the trip.  She even mostly slept through the night, but she did get up pretty early most mornings.  It was a wonderful vacation and a great, great celebration!  Congrats to my big sis and her new hubby!