Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All dressed up

...for mama's birthday! Ellie was too cute while showing off her newly acquired skill of sitting up - I couldn't resist snapping a picture of her on my birthday. She's the best present ever!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Over the river and through the woods to Grandma Connie's we go!

- Ellie Maria Haberkern
We were so lucky to be able to spend five days in Merrimac, MA with Grandma Connie and all the Whiting clan for Ellie's first Christmas. The weather was appropriately New England, a balmy 20 degrees and snowing, and we were dreaming of a white Christmas.

Ellie helped Grandma Connie trim her tree one of the first nights we arrived. Ellie loved all the angels that adorn the tree, but was particularly intrigued by the Moravian stars, too. (Her Dad was fairly excited that E gravitated towards the stars:)
We spent Christmas Eve at Aunt Debbie's house with the Whitings and Joneses. Thank goodness Aunt Debbie and cousin Stacey had festive headgear to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Great-Grandma Dot was instrumental in Ellie's happiness by introducing her to balloons. Ellie was beyond perplexed and amused.
It was a fun night, but totally exhausting.

On Christmas morning, Ellie awoke and seemed a bit overwhelmed by all the excitement.
There was so much fun to experience from the paper to the tissue paper to the boxes...and oh yes, the presents!
After a long nap, Ellie was ready to keep the party going. We had eleven members of the Whiting family for dinner on Christmas at Grandma Connie's house. There was lots of food, drinking, and merrriment - a typical Whiting holiday! We are blessed to be surrounded with so much love on Ellie's first Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The stockings were hung by the chimmney with care... the hopes that Ellie would enjoy her first Christmas season!

December was full of lots of celebrating with a few pre-Christmas highlights:

A visit from Ethan (and Denyce and Joe). We can't wait until they move to Princeton in 2010.

Ellie's new favorite activity: eating solid food! Favs include butternut squash, oatmeal, string beans, and parsnips. She is still quite dubious about cauliflower and surprisingly, apples.

Celebrating Nannie's birthday! Nannie and Gung usually come once a week to spend the day with Ellie. We turned this visit into a special one by going out to an early dinner and coming home to chocolate cake and champagne .

Lots of lazy lounging around at home

Christmas tree decorating and college basketball season - Go Heels!
We can't wait for Christmas...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Wallop

When the Jersey weather said to expect a "winter wallop", we never expected so much for Ellie's first snow - a solid 14 inches! Our friends, Brooke and Dustin, got snowed in with us on Saturday and by Sunday morning, we were able to take Ellie out to enjoy the great outdoors! I think she didn't know what to do with her Dad plopping her down in the cold, but hey, she was pretty cute (red nose and all!)

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Ellie + Playmat = Heaven

The pure, unadulterated joy that Ellie derives from time on her playmat is just incredible. It is so much fun to watch. Here are few photos that speak for themselves:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn Comes to New Jersey

Among the many unexpected pleasures of living in Princeton is the simple fact that we live very close to NYC, and that our little college town serves as an idyllic getaway for city slickers of all types. What that means is that our New York friends feel free to come out and stay for a day (or, if we're lucky, a weekend) in order to enjoy the delights of "country" (i.e. suburban) living. In Princeton, those delights include a) Bent Spoon ice cream, b) Jersey fresh corn and tomatoes, and c) Terhune Orchards. A couple of weeks ago, we enjoyed two of these three wonders with our friends Dave, Sarah, Will, and Elizabeth, who journeyed from exotic Brooklyn to see us. This was the first time Will and Elizabeth got to meet Ellie, but another reason for the visit was a trip to Terhune for the kick-off weekend for apple picking!

Sarah, Danielle, Ellie, and Elizabeth Pose:

We have a long history of apple picking, reaching back to our days in Boston and extending through our time in C'ville, where Carter Mountain Orchards make the world's greatest apple cider donuts. So, on a wonderful fall afternoon we all headed out to pick apples, eat apples and donuts, and generally enjoy a beautiful day. Terhune was PACKED - we were not the only ones searching for fall deliciousness and the sweet polka stylings of the resident band. We still managed to find some apples, though, as well as other treats:

Will revels in nature's bounty -

Dave literally sings the praises of caramel apples -

We're very, very happy that Ellie got to meet some more members of her extended family of friends, and are also super excited that she is learning to appreciate fine foods. We also promise that she had a blast (no matter what this picture shows!!!) -

Maybe these are more like it! Ellie really loved picking apples, and had almost as much fun as Mom:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Catch Tiger Fever

On a sunny September day, what could be better than family, fun, and football! My brother Jonathan and his girlfriend Katherine spent the day with us in Princeton and we took Ellie to her first football game. It was a perfect day for lots of time outside, walking around campus, and a visit to Palmer Stadium.

Ellie woke up excited for the day! She couldn't wait to see Uncle Jonathan and Katherine.

On the way to the game, Ellie thought it was a good idea to chew on Uncle Jonathan's thumb. Good thing he loves her so much...
Jonathan and Katherine on campus on the way to the stadium
At the game, it wasn't exactly the same atmosphere of an ACC game, but we cheered for the Tigers nonetheless. Ellie was in the Bjorn and seemed to be having fun...

...but we know who Ellie is really cheering for;)