Monday, December 31, 2007

More Christmas-time Pictures

I realize the pics are the best part of the here's a few more of the last week!

Olivia's First Christmas, of course a special dress was in order!

Tired after a long day of post Christmas sales - she is a trooper!

Hanging out on the couch...check out those cheeks!

The following were taken after Christmas, but we pretended it was since we didn't take very many that day!

Olivia's GiGi (Great Grandma) and Great Grandpa...she loves them!!

Nana & Papa - have fun in California!!

Grandma & Grandpa - we miss you already but we'll see you soon!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Parent's Visit, Olivia's First Christmas and a Major Haircut!

My parents arrived at Sea Tac on Sunday, it was a great reunion! Brian, Olivia and I drove over Snoqualmie Pass (that's I-90, the major east and west interstate that we drive to get to Seattle) there was lots of snow (and a nervous Californian in the back seat!) on our ride, it was a beautiful winter wonderland! We arrived at the airport just in time to greet them as they came down the escalator. Of course, my mom went straight to the stroller and grabbed her grand girl! I got a little less attention this time. It was an emotional and happy reunion - it's only been a couple of months since we've seen them but Olivia has grown and changed so much and they miss her like crazy!

I was a little nervous not knowing how my mom and dad would react to the snow since they haven't seen it in over 20 years. They absolutely loved it! They were in awe of the trees and mountains and we drove by the ski resort and saw people skiing and snowboarding. We stopped at our favorite coffee spot, Pioneer Coffee Co and my dad was hilarious, thrwoing snow balls and just standing there taking it all in. It really made me happy to see them enjoying it! We've enjoyed having them here all week!

Olivia's first Christmas was fun. She wore the cutest Christmas dress! I have lots of pics which I will post later because Brian loaded them on his parents computer! My mom in law made an awesome dinner (great job Deb!) and it was so wonderful seeing how well our families blend together. Highlights were getting a DVD camcorder from Brian's parents and getting a digital camera from Brian! Yay! I also got snow boots - my mom asked if I ever thought I'd be receiving those for Christmas. Ha! Olivia got lots of clothes, she is a growing girl (size 6-12 months already!) and a few toys from her papa. But her favorite toy this year was the Old Navy wrap - half bag, half wrapping paper. Go figure! She stares at it all day. Note to self, for the first few years babies enjoy the wrapping and the boxes instead of what is actually inside.

Last but not least, yesterday I chopped 5 inches off of my hair - call me crazy, but it was time! I found a new salon in town that's a little hipper for this LA girl and funky stylist that did a great job! Not as good as you Sarah, but she'll have to do - miss ya! Brian took before's and after's. Yesterday I told my friend Tricia that I was starting to feel like a "What Not to Wear" new mom candidate. LOL! Funny how your priorities change - ponytail to the rescue! It's a fun cut and gave me a little boost that I needed.

Hope you all had a great Christmas. If I don't get to post before 1/1 Happy 2008! We hope to make a trip down South soon!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fun Web Site

I know, two postings in one day, crazy but I am excited to share this blog with everyone, it's full of fun and great ideas!

Thanks Julie D. who linked me to a blog that linked me to this blog!

Olivia - 3 Months

Olivia will turn three months old on Christmas Eve - time flies when you're having fun (or sleeping less!). I'm so excited to see her change everyday and to experience such love. She is such a happy and easy going baby (must get that from her dad!) - she smiles constantly and is even telling us what seems to be a lot on her mind!

Christmas will be in Washington this year (our first and maybe even a white one). My parents arrive on Sunday, I can hardly wait!! The cards are out (thanks Andrea -!), the baking is done, presents are just about bought (and wrapped and shipped, let me know Jen!), but most important Brian and I reflect on what means most to our family and that is the birth of our Lord and Savior. Take time this busy season to slow down, and spend time with the ones you love!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Olivia & Sawyer

Last night Sawyer came over to our house while his parents, Cortney and Jake went to Jake's company Christmas party. It was the first time he had been babysat by anyone but his grandparents...he did pretty good! He and Olivia are funny, they just stare at each other and smile. It's like they recognize that they're about each other's age although Sawyer is a bouncing big boy. He is 4 months old! We are really enjoying getting to know the Hardy's. I am in MOPS and MOMS club with Cortney and we occasionally meet for a walk (when the weather is nice) or for coffee at Starbucks for some needed time out of the house - yes, I'll even brave the snow to do it! Here are some funny pics of them from last night.

Friday, December 7, 2007

O Christmas Tree!

We had fun picking out our tree the other night. The trees up here are so fresh, our house smells so good. We went to a lot near our house with our next door neighbors, Josh, Addy and Bryon. Olivia slept through it - we're excited for next year when she'll be toddling around and we can go cut our own like REAL Northwesterners do (right Jen!?).

Anyway, I decorated while Olivia sat peacefully watching me. I'm sure you all can attest to this being the one and only year for a while that this will be a pleasureable process. Next year the ornaments will be moved halfway up! Christmas is finally feeling in full swing to me - trees up, cards are getting addressed and I started my shopping. I always kick myself for not doing it gradually over the year, but then again there's something about the hustle and bustle that I enjoy too. I've always worked better under pressure :-).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

McCown Christmas Card - Year 1

I love getting Christmas cards with family photos. It's so fun to see how families grow and change every year. I decided this would be a good year to start our tradition of a family photo at Christmas! Our friend and neighbor Josh came over and played photographer - he got some good shots. And I love his camera...hint hint Brian! Olivia was a good sport - she put up with our poking and prodding her to smile and of course delivered. She is smiling and starting to giggle more everyday, it is so cute! Here are some candids!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Snow Day!

If I were a kid, this would be a great school, snowball fights, hot cocoa. This is definitely not the world or weather I grew up in. Novembers are still mild and could see the high is 32, FREEZING!!! This will be all my daughter knows though, this will be her winter, and although it is totally opposite to my childhood, I am excited for her. Last night our neighbors were out making snowmen and having snowball fights. Unlike my LA upbringing, this really does feel like Christmastime. In time I will learn to live in it (and like it!) - the shoveling, the driving, etc, but for now I'll just stay home and bask in the beauty of it all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Things that change when you have a baby...

I didn't make these up, they are copied from a website I frequent:

You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid.

The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.

You respect your body ... finally.

You respect your parents and love them in a new way.

You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.

Your heart breaks much more easily.

You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.

Every day is a surprise.

Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)

You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

You become a morning person.

You don't mind going to bed at 9 p.m. on Friday night

You realize that the 15 pounds you can't seem to get rid of are totally worth having

You learn that taking a shower is a luxury

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I've been in a reflective/senitmental mood lately - maybe it's the holidays that does it to me or that I'm far from home, family and friends, or being a new mom! Brian mentioned last night that I had seemed more "sensitive" lately, I acknowledged that, and apologized explaining that I'm still adjusting to life here - I know a lot of you can relate!

On a more positive note, Brian and I are very thankful for each other and for the beautiful baby girl that God has blessed us with. Already in her two months of life we have loved to watch her grow, gurgle and smile at us everyday! I never could've imagined this kind of love.

We are also thankful for you, our family and friends, here and everywhere. I hope this Thanksgiving finds you healthy, happy and enjoying time with ones you love! Don't take it for granted! Love to you all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I love the color brown...I wear it, drink it and dress my baby in it almost everyday. Which her grandmas and great grandmas find funny because back in the day you never dressed a baby girl in is for girls!

We're having a fun week with my sister visiting from Florida. It's always so nice having family or friends come visit (HINT! HINT!). We've been exploring all Yakima has to offer, which isn't too much, but fall temperatures and seeing mountains are enough for the Floridian.

I took this picture of Olivia yesterday...this is by far my favorite hat! All she needs now is a Starbucks cup and she's officially Washington. Thank you for the cute outfit Aunt Jen!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Road Trip!

Weekend before last we packed up ALL our gear and took a road trip to Eastern Washington with Brian's parents. Our purpose was twofold - to see Brian's grandparents and to meet up with my friends Melinda and Jason. They were going to Washington State, their alma mater, to watch the Cougs play UCLA (and they won! Go Cougs!). We had a great time seeing family and friends. Olivia is a great little traveler. She slept most of the 3 1/2 hour car ride and woke up to eat once. Sorry, no pics of me feeding in the wheat fields of La Crosse, Wa (mom in laws home town!). Let's just say that wouldn't be happening on the side of the 405 or the 101...gotta love being in the middle of nowhere.

We had so much fun with Grandpa Ray and Grandma Jean - Olivia has 5 great grandparents still living (4 of those being Brian's...unbelieveable!). I'm so happy about that. And seeing my childhood friend hold my baby girl was pretty special too! I miss you Melinda! Attached is a way cool pic of them at the game! Beth you need one of these, come visit soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Smiles and Halloween!

Olivia started smiling at us this just melted my heart! I was feeling kinda home sick on Monday, missing all you family and friends, but that first smile certainly turned that around. It's amazing how you can be having one of those days and suddenly a smile from your child changes everything. Can anyone relate...c'mon indulge the first time mom!

We had fun last night passing out candy to the neighborhood! The last minute in me ran out yesterday and found that onesie..1.99! Sometimes it pays to procastinate.

I feel like I am adjusting more to motherhood these days. It's amazing how your body just learns to live on less sleep and you suddenly grow more hands to multi task with. We went out yesterday and ran several errands - Macy's, Old Navy, etc. Like mother like daughter, Olivia's a good little shopper (well, it helped that she slept all 3 hours we were gone!).

Fall is in full swing here. This Californian is just in awe of the beauty all around me. It's my favorite time of year - the crisp air, the colorful leaves, and the chilly nights! This is Washington at its best. I love living the different seasons...remind me of that in the dead of winter, ok?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Motherhood 2.0

I know my entries here have been fewer and farther mom friends told me this would be the case. It hasn't been that I haven't had the time to post, it's that I've chosen a nap instead. Imagine that!?

But here I sit on a rainy fall day, cozy, with a peaceful co-sleeper next to me and lots on my mind.

Being a new mom in an information age, while easier because we have so much knowledge at our fingertips is actually more challenging in my opinion. After all, our mothers didn't have a ton of books, websites, blogs, opinions, etc etc and we all eventually slept through the night or survived our vaccinations without worrying what the outcome would be a few years later! As a new mom, I feel such pressure to do things "right". Right = what the latest study shows (ie. cold medicines this week!) or what a more experienced mom friend or family member advises me to do! I defintely apprecicate the latter, but have to admit am so overwhelmed by the first. For one thing, what is wrong with good old fashioned common sense?? Why do I feel like a study of this many children proves that...or what some random website says is going to be right for my child?

All that to say I think these first few weeks of being a mom I am learning to try to relax, turn off the computer, put down the books, the articles and just listen to my instincts and my daughter. We're still adjusting to one another and her to this new and crazy world. I'm sure all of you reading this are smiling...been there, done that right? Sister in law ensures me that is the case for all of us and I will continue to question my choices and actions for the rest of motherhood. Welcome to being a mom she told me last night!

Any (more) advice!? :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

If You Give a Mom a Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin

She'll want a strong cup of coffee to go with it, She'll make herself some.

Her three-year-old will spill the coffee She'll wipe it up.

While wiping the floor she'll find dirty socks.

She'll remember she has to do laundry.

When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the box of Goodwill items.

Bumping into the Goodwill items will remind her that she has to get these boxes out of her basement and into the car.

When she puts the boxes in the car, she'll find a bag of groceries and this will remind her she has to cook dinner.

She will get out the chicken defrosting in the fridge.

She'll look for her cookbook, "101 Things To Do With Chicken"

The cookbook will be sitting under a pile of mail.

She will see the Netflix movie she's meant to send back and the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.

The checkbook will be in her purse that is being dumped out by her one-year-old.

As she bends down to rescue her purse, she'll smell something funny.

She'll change the baby's diaper.

While she is throwing away the diaper and searching for the hand sanitizer, the phone will ring.

Her three-year-old will answer and hang up.

She'll remember she wants to call a friend - not for coffee, but for a very strong drink.

Thinking of drinking will remind her that she was going to have a cup of coffee in order to stay awake for the rest of the day.

And chances are....

If she finds her cup of coffee (which she has to reheat by now), Her children will have eaten the muffin that goes with it.

Hang in there Moms!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

2 Weeks...

Olivia is already two weeks old tomorrow...that is hard to believe! She is still a pretty mellow baby...except when she wants to eat, she definitely lets us know she is hungry!

My mom is still here, which has been a huge help and Jen came this week too! It's been great to be surrounded by family, there will be some tough goodbyes that's for sure.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Olivia Mae McCown - September, 24, 2007

Olivia is here! Although I'm exhausted and have all kinds of interesting things happening to my body, I can't stop smiling. Brian and I are so thankful to have this healthy and happy beautiful girl. She is five days old and is already changing! I find myself just staring at her and studying her every detail. She is the image of her dad who has already embraced his new role with such ease! Even the messy diapers and middle of the night wake up calls (thank goodness for DVRs and NBCs premiere week - Olivia's already a fan of The Office!).

We have transitioned pretty easily, thanks to the help and support of our parents and our neighbor Jill who has provided all of our yummy meals this week! We're looking forward to upcoming visits - Aunt Jen from California and Aunt Shannon from Florida!

Thanks to everyone for your prayers, calls, emails, flowers and visits. It's hard that most of you are far away so we'll do our best to update with lots of pictures and stories of her growth! to sleep while I can!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's hard to believe...

that tomorrow I'll be holding my daughter! These past 9 months have gone by so fast. This is a day I have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime. I pictured going into labor unexpectedly and rushing to the hospital, ancticipating hours of labor, etc etc. Funny how life happens. Here I sit, the night before my scheduled C-Section...i know we will have a daughter, her name, her birthday, the time she will be born - everything is so planned! Ironic since the last year of our lives has been nothing but planned - bought a house we hadn't planned on, got pregnant without planning on it happening so soon, maybe a plan for once is good for us!

Thanks to everyone for all of your thoughts, prayers and funny comments! We'll keep you posted over the next few days!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just About There...

There are no words...just a HUGE sigh of relief!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Congrats Tricia and Koby!

I'm so beyond happy for one of my best friends and old roommate Tricia and her FIANCE Koby! They got engaged this weekend! What a great week this is starting off to be. I can't wait to see her married as she has waited 30 PLUS years for this! I love you Tricia...your patience and faithfulness has paid off! Enjoy every minute of this time, it goes by so fast!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Birthdays!

Today is my dad's 60th birthday...a big milestone that I'm not there to celebrate with him, but I'm so excited to see him and my mom next week when they come to see us, and of course the birth of their grandaughter!

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you so much!

It's also my best friend (and sister in law's) birthday and her daughter, my niece, Kendall! It's a popular day for our family! The above picture is of Jen competing in a mud run recently...she'll probably kill me for posting that pic, but I love it and am so proud of her! It was quite a race!

Kendall is six and is our family's comic relief for sure! I love to talk to her on the phone and hear from Jen all the funny things she says and does. She is defintely her mother's daughter, a little edge but all heart and a huge smile to brighten your day!

Happy Birthday Jen and Kendall! We miss you and love you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Our Memorable Anniversary

Yesterday was our one year anniversary...definitely a milestone for most, it'll be one we'll never forget!

To make a longer story short last weekend our neighbors hired some workers to remove these really old juniper shrubs that divide our house. If you don't know what those are, they're really thick shrubs with needles kind of like Christmas trees. They grow like crazy here in Washington and aren't the prettiest plants. Anyway, the guys had been struggling all weekend to remove them because the roots were so deep and have probably been in the ground for almost 50 years. To make matters worse, they found a yellow jackets nest with some pretty stubborn creatures that wouldn't die even after bottles of bee killer and gasoline had been dumped on them. (um, where's the exterminator this Californian asks? washintonians are way too experienced to hire those I guess!). Anyway, around 11 am I am waddling around town trying not to go into labor, running errands and I get a call from my neighbor Jill asking if I was home because these workers were lighting the bushes on fire, which had started an even bigger fire, with huge flames getting really close to our house! The fire department was on their way, I couldn't even imagine why they were lighting the bushes on fire and I rushed home. Brian was working an hour away so he couldn't make it in time.

I pull up to my house to every law enforcement office in town - Fire Dept, Sheriff, US Marshall, City of Yakima, even Animal Control! My neighbors were all outside and as soon as they saw me rushed to the car trying to look really calm for the pregnant lady. The fire was already out and all the fireman were in the house checking for any damage. All the officers were trying to make sure I stayed calm, it was pretty funny. Funnier, I was very calm! Next thing I know, they're showing me that there is no permanent smoke damage in our house, just smelled a little, but we were really fortunate that it wasn't worse!

Later when an inspector came to assess for any damage he said to count our blessings because he had never seen flames come so close to a house and not cause any damage. We are really thankful, especially at this point of our lives, with Olivia coming in less than 2 weeks now. I just couldn't imagine...God was really watching over our house and our family! So, needless to say, it was a memorable first anniversary for sure! Hopefully things will get cleaned up today, the smells downstairs will go away, and we'll move on. It definitely made for an interesting day in the neighborhood!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cabinets, Glorious Cabinets!

There is a light at the end of this tunnel...