Sure it's been over a month since I last posted. We've all been running around like crazy headless chickens, especially Mama Hen. I could give you a laundry list of excuses like: my boss went on maternity leave on my birthday (Josh and I both turned 30 this month) and work is insane, we're gone three nights a week due to gymnastics and church play and choir practice for Ava, I'm 6 months into growing a human and if I get comfy on the couch instead of blogging I snore, and, oh yeah, WE BOUGHT A HOUSE. We Locketts don't do big life events in stages; we try to cram several into a few months just for kicks. Thanks for reading along in my sporadic blogging, hope you enjoy.
I cannot say enough good things about Ava's school. Levin is already on the wait list for the 3-year-old program. I had the privilege of chaperoning a history museum field trip for the Kindie class.
Sweetest little profile I know; haven't seen brother's yet.
You can tell she's soaking in every detail.
Digging with Goggle Face
On a canoe trip
Yes, she's holding hands with a boy on their way back to the bus. Too precious.
Our church does a children's sermon every other week. The selected kiddo brings back the Mystery Bag with a special object inside and Mitch tries to come up with an applicable illustration from the item. My favorite line from a children's sermon so far is, "God is like a baby chicken."
Anyway, since Ava had the bag for the first time on the Sunday before Thanksgiving she chose to bring a strand of Christmas lights. She was so brave and talked into the microphone in front of the whole church. I love the community our church provides for us. We have a 30 minute period of time between Sunday school and service. Josh and I rarely even see Ava during this time because she's going around visiting with all of her friends, from children younger than her to some of our oldest members. I love how at home she is in our church. It's the inclusive environment we always hoped to find.
Later that night we participated in the church decorating party. There was wassail, snacks, Christmas tunes, and lots of greenery fluffing.
Some of us were more helpful than others.
Uncle Nate paid us a visit and Ava was excited to show him off at her school's Thanksgiving party.
These next two pictures are from Josh's first year of law school.
Ava and her friend, Grace, were only two years old.
Now they're in kindergarten together. It doesn't seem like we've lived in Norman for that long, but our roots are growing here. What treasured friendships we have.
Speaking of growing, Mr. Levin is definitely making his presence known. Here I am at almost 6 months.
When Josh was in law school we got out of the habit of going to Texas for Thanksgiving. With finals so close to the holiday it didn't make sense to zoom down I-35 for two days with a cranky law student. This year we decided to stay put again. We begged our way into a family Thanksgiving with the Randalls. It was so fun and chill. We all brought our favorite Thanksgiving foods. Here's Ava helping me make the cranberry sauce.
The day turned out warm enough for the kiddos to swim in the heated pool. Ava actually ended Thanksgiving day with tan lines.
The kid table, poolside in sunglasses.
The morning after Thanksgiving our Elf on the Shelf, James Lockett, returned! He's just as mischievous as ever.
We traded Christmas card picture taking with our dear friends, the Randalls. I'm posting a few of the pictures we decided not to use. I love this one of Ava holding Levin's little outfit. Josh said it just looks like she's doing laundry. Oh well, here it is.
Our Swon (Swiss son); Ava is his Swisster. Remember that Cole went to Switzerland with us?
It's a wonder we were able to get any serious pictures done with this bunch. And totally by accident, Josh and Cole arrived wearing pretty much the same clothes.
We know it's important for dads to have rough play with their kiddos, especially little girls. Lately Ava has been really into it and can be quite the opponent. I try to stay out of their way as pillows fly and squeals erupt from both parties involved.
Christmas sweaters and poinsettias at church
Grace and her mom invited us to see an Oklahoma version of The Nutcracker with them. The girls were excited to take pictures with some of the dancers after the show.
On our rare weeknights at home we play lots of GoFish and SkipBo.
At my November doctor appointment I was finally cleared to exercise! After some scary symptoms in my first trimester my doctor recommended I not work out at all. I'm not athletic (hush Nathan and Dad), but I had been working out three to four times a week until her warning. I can't tell you how much better I feel being able to get my blood pumping. I keep tennis shoes at work and walk the trail around campus during my lunch break. It's been glorious.
My coats are just barely buttoning around Levin and me. Thankfully I found a steal on Ebay and my new (to me) maternity coat will be here in a few days!
I told you James Lockett was a mess.
In the beginning I was pretty sure that Levin was a little German man, with my sauerkraut and brats cravings all the time. However, now I think he may be part hobbit. Around 10:30 every morning, no matter what my 7:00 breakfast was, I turn ravenous. Remember this from Lord of the Rings?
Aragorn: Gentlemen! We do not stop 'til nightfall.
Pippin: But what about breakfast?
Aragorn: You've already had it.
Pippin: We've had one, yes. But what about second breakfast?
[Aragorn stares at him, then walks off.]
Merry: Don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin: What about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?
Merry: I wouldn't count on it.
And Levin's favorite version of 'elevensies' is BBQ. Of course, I don't usually indulge but sometimes baby wants what baby wants.
Stinker that he is, Brother already has some gifts under the Christmas tree.
Other precious things under the tree, Ava James and our darling goddaughter, Abigail Hope. Her mom and dad, Ray and Sarah, came to Norman for a visit and to help us house hunt...more on that later.
Always thoughtful and crafty, Mimi sent two big boxes of Advent gifts for Ava. Opening the little packages each evening has been the highlight of Ava's December days.
Josh and I are back on the Sunday school rotation this month. It's almost like God is preparing Ava for life with a brother with our turnout lately.
Lapboards are kind of a joke at this point in my pregnancy. Seconds after I shot this Levin kicked and all the makeup slid into the floor.
A spotting of Christmas on my lunch hour walk
Even in all the busyness at work there are moments of laughter. I reached into my purse to find my keys and pulled out Tiana panties, because why not?
Can you believe I'm already six months along? All I want for Christmas is an easy and healthy third trimester.
With our nights so booked we've been utilizing my crockpot like never before. Black-eyed-peas have been a constant craving for the past six months. Here's my Levin bump helping me sort peas early this morning.
***AND NOW FOR THE BIG NEWS!***
We've looked at houses in Norman three separate times in the past four years. The first time was when we thought we'd sell our Texas house quickly (ha) and would buy a house before Josh started law school. We ended up living in student housing for the first year. At the end of Josh's first year of law school we were asked to house-sit for a friend and professor. We lived there for two years, minus the semester we lived in Switzerland. We knew the house-siting was coming to an end and did a second round of house hunting before we realized that with Josh's job being so new we really needed a few months to settle into this whole two income thing before taking on a mortgage. So this summer in the midst of my first trimester yuck and 115 degree heat we moved to a rent house owned by some precious friends. Last Saturday we looked at houses again. There was this one house that had already stolen my heart in our online hunt. It was like the first time I saw Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a sixth grade girl. I was a smitten kitten. We saw it first and then a few others with our superhero realtor and church friend, Wendy Foreman, and our good friends, the Millers. After touring it, the other houses we looked at were huge disappointments. We took a second look at it on Sunday with another friend who is an architect and decided to make an offer. On Monday afternoon we found out that they accepted our offer! We will close on January 31 and have about two months to settle in before Levin arrives.
Here is a sneak peek at our new home, pictures are from the website so forgive the staged furniture:
The front, gorgeous windows, trees, and bushes
Dreamy front porch
First living room, it steps down into the second living room - such a great space with tons of potential.
Second living room with lots of light and a view of the backyard. We'll have to paint the yellow away for sure.
Kitchen view 1, note the double ovens and oodles of counter space.
Kitchen view 2
Breakfast nook, another sunny room with exposed brick wall - I love. On the other side of the kitchen is the laundry room, a half bathroom, and the garage.
Formal dining room
All of the bedrooms and both full bathrooms are upstairs, which I love.
Here is the master bedroom.
Ms. Ava's room with TWO CLOSETS and a gigantic bay window. The orange will have to go since it matches nothing.
Levin's nursery, it's just across the hall from our room. No, the camo furniture will not stay.
Josh doesn't quite believe me, but in the original online tour I took of this house I honestly didn't know there was a pool. This is the picture I saw and I thought it was either a basketball court or a garden that had been covered for winter. The diving board didn't register either. Anyway, if I had known there was a pool I'm not sure I would have even put it on our list. It makes me nervous to have a pool with two little ones in our house. We're doing lots of research and trying to find the best way to keep everyone safe. Ava is ELATED with this feature though. The backyard continues on for quite a bit so there's plenty of yard to play in despite the huge pool in the middle.
Josh and I both fell in love with this back patio area. It's almost like having a third living room.
Off to the side of the patio is a little rocked walkway and sitting area.
We are so excited! Even though it means a fifth move in a little under four years, we know it's the right place for us. This is a forever house for me. It has room to grow as our kiddos grow (in size, not number) and I hope it'll be a place they want to bring their friends. The living spaces are laid out in a way that perfectly fits our lifestyle. Plus, it's pretty and we all three agreed on it. I've already had a warning from my OB that moving in my third trimester will mean lots of pointing and no lifting. I'm not sure I know how to complete a pregnancy without at least two moves. With Ava we were building a house until my last month. Crazy. Anyway, prayers are coveted as we move through these few weeks of inspections, appraisals, holidays, and moves. Thanks for reading this novel!