Now We Are Four!

KW joined us on November 10, 2010. Thanks for following our journey as a family!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gotta Start Somewhere

Now that I am back at home full time with the kiddos, I sometimes read the blogs I grew to love before I went back to work. The other day, I read an especially timely post about the contentious wife. Timely, because I don't know anyone who gets it all done when there is a newborn in the house, and timely, because I am so hard on myself about creating the family experience of the future. What I mean by this is that I have a vision of what I want our family to be - memories, traditions, etc. - but I expect myself to have created this NOW. How can this be? Not only are we only three Christmases into being parents, I will stifle the Spirit in our household if I pick a bunch of random traditions now, refusing to adjust to personalities, likes, dislikes, and new finds in the future.

Case in point: the Advent Calendar. Last year, I asked my mom to knit me twenty-five mittens so I could make an Advent Calendar - a garland hanging over our dining table with mittens full of candy and gifts to count down the days to Jesus' birth. I was going to sew numbers on the mittens and attach a pom-pom to each one so they can be thrown over the garland. She completed the mittens, but due to a mailing snafu with Bryan's travel schedule, said mittens were not in the house until December 8. No pom-poms, and I hadn't even stuffed the mittens yet.

At first, I was going to scrap the whole thing for this year; Lee would not have known what an Advent Calendar was unless I told him, right? But then I read the post, and decided to stop fighting with myself. I stuffed those mittens, threw them in a snowman gift bag, and set them on the table for breakfast the next morning. May I say the snowman was a huge hit, the first mitten's gift was a huge hit, and now, Lee keeps telling me Christmas is the day Jesus gets here.

Who cares that we have only fifteen days of Advent in the Hardman house this year? We will not have missed the point in our short celebration, and there is always next year to hang the thing up and go all out with Advent.

And, please know, the adults have their own little Advent "calendar" hidden in the pantry...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One Month Down

I really can't believe it - doesn't everyone say that? It gets so old to hear, but it is so true! Our little girl is already one month old, and already going to her first office party! Here she is all decked out for the event.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Birthday Crew

These are the loves I spent my birthday with - could I ask for more?

And the view I had just before going to bed that night...

Love them all!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Playing Cards

Lee likes to enlist us to play cards with him. He uses the Candy Land deck with some very specific rules:
1. We only get the colors he doesn't like,
2. We are not to touch or move our cards (not a problem for KW), and
3. We are not to touch or move his cards.

Pretty fun. For Lee.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Decorations by Lee

Love this little guy. He is finally smiling for the camera again. This beats hearing, "Turn it off!" every time I try to take a picture.

I resisted my compulsive urge to "fix" his ornament placement.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Did you ever have a friend that was so cool, and did so many of the things you wish you would do, and took the time to look deep and think deeply about herself and everyday life (which you also wish you would do)? The friend who inhabits this place in my heart and mind right now is Laura Jones. You can read her blog, bruce avenue, by clicking on the link in my blog roll. An amazing woman. I find myself wanting to copy-cat her. Often.

I love you and miss you, Sweet Laura!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Magic Chair

This is apparently where I need to sit if I want to have these wonderful mommy moments.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Virtuous Girl

I love how KW perfectly places her foot for this picture, hiding any delicate parts that could not be broadcast to the internet. This was taken at her one-week doctor visit - she had already gained back her birthweight and more!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's a Double Name, Y'all

It's about tradition. It's about family. It's about being proud and southern. It's about heritage.

It's a double name, y'all.

I always wanted to name a son Harris, until Bryan and I got engaged. I wasn't so wild about Harris Hardman. But I had always wanted to honor my dad, and allow his name to continue on - he did have three girls, after all!

Lucky for me, Bryan was named in a really cool way, using the middle names of his two grandfathers - George Bryan Wilkes and Billy Thompson Hardman. I loved this idea and jumped on it as soon as we got married, and Lee was named after his two grandfathers - Ernest Lee Harris and William Thomas Hardman.

But what to do for a girl? We had picked out four names during our previous pregnancy, but we wanted to honor our moms this time around. I have always loved the name Wilkes, which is my mother-in-law's maiden name. But my mom's maiden name is Norowski - not sure how I felt about that combo!!

Enter southern heritage and our comfort with using the double name. My mother was Katherine Marie, and I seriously considered Mary Wilkes. Then my sister suggested we use Katherine as the first name, and call her Katie Wilkes. Done!

The suggestion was not made unselfishly, however, as my sister's name is also Katherine, and she wanted her own namesake. And so, a few days after KW was born, a new tradition was begun...

The Katherine Sandwich!