Sunday, April 1, 2018

An Alway Family Easter | 2018

Happy Easter from our two silly wittle wabbits.


After quite a bit of effort, that's about the best family photo we could get. Why do photos with small children always have to be such an impossible battle?!?

We spent Easter this year at my parents' new house.

We headed down south on Saturday, because that evening Stew and I had a fancy night out planned to celebrate his Battalion Chief's retirement. It was fun to dress up and spend an evening together.


While we were gone, the kids dyed eggs with Auntie, Nana and Papa.


Ryder also helped Papa with the burn pile out back...


The kids were both thrilled with their Easter baskets from Nana and Papa, and Kiley discovered that she loves marshmallow chicks and rabbits (she is definitely her father's daughter).


AJ, Morgan and the cutest baby bunny ever also came over to celebrate.




Once Ryder discovered the colorful eggs hidden all over the house, he could hardly contain his joy and excitement. It was super fun to watch.






Kiley was her usual cranky self, but Nana diligently tried to cheer her up.



Matching spring flower outfits for Kiles and Auntie!


Ryder's school also hosted an elaborate Easter celebration where he got to dye eggs, participate in an egg hunt, and hang out with the animals. 






We hope that you had a wonderful Easter with your family. 

And here's hoping that Spring weather is right around the corner!


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Lucky in Love... Year Six

Happy St. Paddy's Day, and Happy Anniversary to my love.

We have been married six whole years now. That seems like such a long time, but it's gone by in the blink of an eye. And it's been eleven whole years since that fateful day when we first met at Kells and set this whole crazy journey into motion.

Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.

This past year has definitely thrown us the most challenges, as having two children certainly isn't for the faint of heart. But we've also gazed in wonder at the little family we've created, marveling at our ability to turn mutual attraction and a shared love of green beer into a magical life together.

To celebrate our anniversary this year, we decided to run the St. Patrick's Day Dash in Seattle. 
We have done it twice before, but the first time Stew pushed me through in a stroller due to an unfortunate snowboarding accident, and the second time we had Ryder in a stroller so we mainly walked. This time I was determined to run the whole thing if it killed me! I hate running.

Somehow, by the luck of the Irish, I managed to get through the whole race without walking!


My Aunt Karen raced with us this year, and I have to give credit to poor Stew for tolerating our extremely slow pace. He probably could have completed it in half the time, but instead he stayed nearby and cheered us on.


I love the energy that the Dash pumps into Seattle Center. After crossing the finish line, we headed into the pavilion for some well-deserved Irish beers. The whole place was filled with green-clad runners who went to work building giant towers out of their rapidly emptying plastic beer cups. Not long afterward, the live band and the Irish jigs started.



After hanging out for a few hours, Stew and I headed back to the hotel and prepared to go out on the town. My mom and sister were watching the kids for the night so we could spend an evening alone.

First off was lunch with my dear friend Heather, obviously including beer and whiskey.


Afterward, Stew and I excitedly headed down to Kells, because we thought it would be fun to reminisce back where it all began...


Unfortunately it turns out that my 25-year-old self had a lot more stamina... this time around I had myself back at the hotel and in bed by about 6 p.m. It was a long day! We did go downstairs around 11 p.m. for a nice dinner in the hotel lobby, and although we were disappointed that we didn't end up partying like the rock stars we once were, it was nice to wake up refreshed the next morning and head home to our kiddos.

Of course they dressed up for the occasion as well!





Happy Anniversary Stewie. You've still got whatever it is.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Kiley's First Birthday

Our little girl is one year old!

It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since we first heard her sweet little cries and felt the desperate grip of her tiny little fingers. I held her on my chest and she calmed immediately as we stared into each other's eyes and tears of joy streamed quietly down my face. 

The past year has seen many more tears for both of us, but our family has also grown exponentially with love since Kiley joined it a year ago.

Happy First Birthday, Kiley Patricia!


We threw her (and ourselves) a little party to celebrate with family and some of our closest friends.










Big Brother Ryder was super excited to help Kiley celebrate her birthday. All week long he helped me pull together craft projects, shop for food, and decorate the house for his favorite little sis.


We were very much looking forward to a traditional first birthday Cake Smash. Unfortunately, Kiley wasn't particularly thrilled by the situation (although the balloons were a hit).



Happy birthday, dear Kiley, happy birthday to you!



With a little coaxing from Daddy and Ryder, we were finally able to convince her to try some cake.







Kiley also received mountains of wonderful, generous gifts!


She was thrilled with the colorful wrapping paper just as much as with the presents.


Due in large part to my Maternity Mommy Group, Kiley actually has a decent group of friends who are around her own age. It was difficult to get them all organized into a photo together, but we tried!



Having kids is an adventure that you should never embark upon alone. 

Besides having an extremely supportive and understanding spouse, I highly recommend surrounding yourself with good friends who are also in the same stage of life. We've been extremely fortunate in this regard, and I really don't know how we would have gotten through this past year without the support of our many friends.











And of course we have been entirely spoiled by our family members, who are in love with our kids and are always more than willing to lend an ear, or a helping hand. They are basically the reason our marriage is still standing after the last crazy, sleep-deprived 365 days.

Nana with her fourth of five grandchildren!
Kiley's Uncle AJ, Aunt Morgan, and Cousin Kinley. The girls are only six months apart, and I hope destined to be the best of friends.

Patty and Grandpa Russ, who is especially thrilled by having another Alway girl around.






It was so fun to spend the day doting on our little princess.





It's hard to explain how I feel about my second child turning one. She's still and will always be my baby, but she's also turning into a big girl before our eyes.


The party was a huge success, filled with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. Sweet Kiley is definitely very loved. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has been a part of our lives this past year — we couldn't have done it without you!

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