2011: The Year in Review!

Thursday, December 29, 2011
2011 will come to an end in just a few short days. Here's a look back at our exciting year :)

We spent last new year's celebrating with Auntie Liz and Uncle Adam at their home in Albuquerque. Loved it down there even if it was cold. Our first road trip went off without a hitch, but it certainly won't be our preferred means of travel with two kids. We hopefully will fly down there sometime this spring.


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The gorgeous view of the sunset from Adam and Liz's house. 

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The one below made a canvas on our wall.

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We went to our first children's museum while down there.

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Henry tried salsa for the first time.

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We miss New Mexico. And Adam and Liz.


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Henry turned 17 months.

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We bought our potty chair in January, with high hopes of being trained this year. Back then, he consistently signed poop before he pooped, but alas, here in December the poop is still going into the diapers. My goal is before turning 3. I'm thinking once he's ready that it will click very fast. He shows every other sign: announces when he's going, wants to be changed right away, and doesn't like pooping in front of a lot of people.

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As you can see in January, we still had very little hair.

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Mommy turned 26. I better choose my wish carefully next month. 


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We spent my birthday downtown. Dinner at Melting Pot and drinks at the Locale. Other than the sip of beer I tried the other day, those were my last drinks.

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Henry celebrated 1.5 years of age with a giant Valentine's cupcake.

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We started to make a relationship with the snow. Didn't go so well at first. Tears in this picture, I believe.

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We started eating cereal like a big boy. Though today, we do not take milk in our cereal. 


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And we found our love for color crayons.

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We chose our very own Valentine's for the first time to pass out at daycare. Thomas the Train won this year. We carried around the extras for days.

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We had lots of fun in the bathtub.


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We fell in love with Tommy's Malt Shop...specifically, the malts. This was a celebration of jumping up higher on the percentile rank for weight. He gobbled down his whole meal that night.

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We ventured to the Sea Life aquarium for the first time. We found our love for turtles and Nemo after this trip.

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We saw all kinds of fun things!

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We learned how to do the splits...though mommy and daddy still don't know where we learned it.

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Talking on the phone became a favorite pretend activity.

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We LOVED Thomas the train.

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Enjoyed many muffins. And we still like to eat them this way.

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And announced with great excitement that a new baby would be joining our family. :)

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Took another run with the potty stuff. It was short lived.

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Henry learned how to do laundry. It is an indisputable fact that more laundry gets done because he helps me. An unnamed college student did some laundry here last weekend. Henry showed her how it was done.

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March/April brought somewhat warmer weather. We went to the brand new park a few times.

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And took our car for a spin often.

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We went on our first amusement park ride at the MOA.

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In April, we met Mickey Mouse. We went to Florida with Chris and Kelly and had an absolutely fantastic time at Disney World. Henry LOVED all the characters and most of the rides. Daddy turned 27 this month.

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Our love of Mickey Mouse completely boomed after this. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse became our favorite show, and Mickey Mouse was his favorite buddy to take night-night.

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I have all of my old Mickey's here in the house. Henry has most of them in his toy area in addition to his own. I bought a Sorcerer Mickey on our first trip to Disney World in 2001. It was the last one I hadn't given up yet. It still has the tag. But when I found it the other day, I decided it was time to pass it on. Brings his Mickey total up to like 9, I think.

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We also made a stop at the beach. Another all time favorite photo from the year.

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We colored Easter Eggs for the first time and met the Easter Bunny for the first time.

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Mommy and Daddy went to their first baseball game of the year.

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And Henry learned how to use an iPod. Skills he carried over to the iPad later in the year.

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Mother's Day was cold, but we took a few pictures anyway. Still some of my most favorite ever.

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It was still cold in May when we took Henry to see his first baseball game at Target Field.

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At some point in May it finally got warm enough to go outside in a t-shirt. We played in our sand box.

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We became infatuated with the lawnmower and always wanted to help daddy. Back then it was pronounced "maw-maw".

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We found out Henry was going to have a healthy little sister name Claire. :)

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Saw our neighbor friends outside more and more as the weather warmed up.

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Henry turned 22 months.

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June was super busy with weddings for me. 4 of them. I took some time with Henry one Sunday and got these all time favorites.

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We spent father's day in Winona. Henry saw a parade for the first time (and decided he loved candy!) and we took a trip to mommy's childhood ice cream shop--the Zesto!


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Swimming lessons started in June and went throughout the summer.



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We discovered that we LOVED sidewalk chalk. 


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and our car still.


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Mommy and daddy got new furniture in June and Henry has a good ol' time making forts with the pillows.

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Summer time meant swinging and popsicles.

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Right before Henry turned two, we made the big transition into a toddler bed. Went off without a hitch. Since July has he has only removed himself from the bed/room 1 time. Sleeps all night, every night. 


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Hanging out in his new blue room!

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We went to the air show in Eden Prairie. It was hot! Henry loved the airplanes, though!

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July was party time! We had a two year old!

Mommy really got into this party planning thing.

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We spent his birthday opening presents, went out to a late breakfast and saw Winnie the Pooh--his first movie at the theater. 


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Chocolate chip pancakes were a hit!

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So was the popcorn.

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Then, we had a party. Mommy's love of making cakes grew bigger.

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Many new toys were opened.

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And we sang Happy Birthday a lot.We also learned how old we were and could accurately say and show it with fingers.

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We went on our first camping adventure with Chris and Kelly in South Dakota at the beginning of August. My belly was getting bigger. I miss summer.

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With the help of Kelly, we took our family/maternity pictures.

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The love for the H Show started.

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We went to a Twins game on a beautiful night. By this point the Twins were a hopeless excuse for a baseball team.


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Henry tried cotton candy for the first time.

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We did one last summer "session" before mommy returned to work for 6 weeks. 

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And then decided it was finally time for that first haircut.

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We played in our pool one last time on a hot September day.

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And our last family outing as a family of three was to the apple orchard.

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On Henry's last day as on only child, we took some pictures in the leaves.

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The next day, we welcomed Claire into our lives.

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And her newborn session lasted all of the first week.


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Despite not wanting to wear his costume, Henry went trick or treating for the first time.

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and we carved pumpkins.

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Baby Claire was quickly 1 month old.

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Henry held his baby sister for the first time.

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We made a new friend and started frequent play dates.

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and Claire was changing fast.

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We fell in love with the little snow we've had this year.

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and got our first family picture.

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We did some Thanksgiving baking.

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Claire started smiling for the camera.

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We met the big guy. No tears this year. but we kept a safe distance away.

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More holiday pictures. and for one brief week, Henry's favorite activity was to take pictures with his sister.

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This one is forever a favorite.

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Claire was baptized.

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And just like that, Claire was 2 months.

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and the siblings hung out.

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The camera continues to love Claire.

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Claire showed off her Christmas dress.

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and we had a great Christmas!

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2011 was obviously, a big year. Besides our 3 trips, Henry turning two, and becoming a family of four, Ryan also took a new job in August. He's no longer 7 minutes away, but he's very happy where he is. My photography business also continued to grow. This year saw 7 weddings and many family and engagement sessions--but the biggest change was the large number of newborns I photographed--11 total, I believe. I had done 1 the previous year. My goal is to hopefully double that this year, as newborns are my favorite. 

Henry grew in leaps and bounds this year. He went from a few handfuls of one word phrases to a little boy that can ask questions and talk in 6-8 word sentences. He mastered the alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers and counting. His latest skill? Letter sounds. He can label all but about 5. Mark my words that this child will be reading before he goes to kindergarten, if not sooner. 

We made the switch to a toddler bed, learned to drink from a cup, and downgraded to just a small booster seat at the table. Eating still has its ups and downs, but his latest reading on the scale reads 27 pounds, 8 ounces. He was just over 20 pounds at 18 months, so a gain of 7 pounds looks pretty good. He doesn't go for another well check until he's 3.

2011 was fantastic, but we're ready for 2012 and all the new adventures it will bring.

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