Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Road Trip

Recently, we took a road trip from Charlotte, NC to Wheaton, IL to attend a Josiah Venture training for MITs (missionary in training). That's right--27 hours in the car with a 10 month old.
Actually, it went really well thanks to Sid the Science Kid (a PBS show that we bought on DVD). Yep, I let our 10 month old watch movies in the car; I'll just go ahead and add that to my I Will Never list.

In fact, I was pretty amused as our road trip began. Each of the Stephens' family members had their own headphones. Brian is listening to an audio book, Cece is watching a Veggie Tales, and I'm listening to a Podcast. Are we cool or what?
Road Trip2

Our first stop was Florence, Indiana. LONG STORY. However, the gist of it is that Brian's brothers, brothers-in-law, and Father WERE going to go to the Kentucky Derby, but changed their plans (no problem, right? Well, Brian forgot to cancel the hotels for that tentative trip. We did have to pay SOME money, but don't you worry because we ended up with four vouchers for four hotel rooms at the Belterra Casino! And, we used them all!!) Luke and Anna live a few hours from there; Rollie and Cait took a slight detour on their way home from Nashville.

From there, we headed to Fort Wayne, Indiana were we lived for the first six months of our marriage. We saw dear friends there, and we drove past our first house.

After that, we headed to Wheaton, IL where the Josiah Venture North American Headquarters is. We stayed with some dear friends there as well, but I forgot to take a picture. We trained alongside four other couples, all of whom are headed (or currently living) to Eastern Europe. We are just soooo very excited to serve with them soon. Two couples are headed to Poland, and Brian and I are really excited about that (I offered to trade countries, but . . .). Look at all those Macs--what a beautiful picture!


We also had time with Nate and Emily who already live and serve in Czech. We are going to live thirty minutes away from them, and we are thrilled. Some of the highlights of their friendship include: Emily knows how to do hair, and said that she would love nothing more that to have at Cece's (I almost cried I was so excited--like she can braid!!!!); Nate and Brian like the same movies; Emily likes to shop (Brian and Nate are scared); Nate showed me this super sweet way to organize my iTunes music. Seriously, we love them already!!

So, that is a glimpse into our week. Believe it or not, that was the short version!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cece's Friends

Several months ago, Cece spent some time with her friend Eleanor (I even blogged about it: click here to see.) Several months before that, Cece met Abigail. Well, recently Cece has met up with these friends. So, of course, I took some pictures and wanted to share:

This is Cece with Abigail, Cece was probably about two months here. Abigail is just a little less than a month older:

Here are some pics from their lunch date today:



Here is a picture of Cece and Eleanor back in June:
Eleanor loves "Baby Cece"!

Here they are this past Friday:





And, because I couldn't resist, more pictures of just Cece. This girl can pull things off that I could never wear; I just LOVE it. I have bought some hats in my day; then, I put them on, and I just look stupid. Cecelia, on the other hand--what a rock star!




Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chronicles of Cece

I decided it was time to change our blog's main picture. The previous was taken only a few months ago, but Cece has changed so much since then. And, I just wanted to share a couple random Cece stories (since this blog is, in fact, my version of a baby book).

Everywhere we go (I'm not exaggerating--everywhere), people are always commenting on how cute Cece is. She is quite the charmer too--she waves and smiles at everyone. The other day, I was having lunch with a friend of mine (also a mom). We were at McAlisters and the host guy kept coming around and talking to Cece, tickling her, giving her high-fives. Finally, my friend was like, "do you know him?" I was like, "nope, this is just what it's like everywhere we go; I don't even really notice anymore." I'm not exaggerating; everywhere (and I don't mind one bit:)).

Not Quite a Princess Voice
I also just have to say that Cece is loud. She yells at dogs, kids, and people. She really doesn't mean to yell. I think somewhere along the way, she got the idea that communicating means being loud. Hmmm . . . I haven't the slightest idea where she gets that from. I brought her into the nursery at church the other day, sat her down next to some precious little girl, and Cece just blares, "DAAAAA" at the little girl. It's Cece's way of being friendly. She especially "yells" at dogs, who she refers to as "Jill" (the name of my parents' dog--well, it's actually my brother Rollie's dog, but . . . .) All day long, I hear, "Jill", but it's not a quiet, precious sounding "Jill"; it's a "JJJJILL". The neighbor guy has a dog that just wonders around our neighborhood (sweet, old black lab). All day long, Cece crawls to the door, exclaiming, "Jill" (whether or not she can actually see the dog).

Drama Queen?--Just Count to Ten (Thanks, Brian:))
She is also a little DRAMA queen. There is nothing quiet about her crying, either. Cece can be quite dramatic if things are not going her way. Well, both Brian and I are fine with crying for a good reason, but not for example, because we shut the computer, or because I walked out of the room. So, we have been giving her little time-outs when she is throwing her little temper-tantrums. I did it one day by making her sit on the floor and saying very calmly, "Cece stop crying." Brian recently added to it (and to be honest, I was in the kitchen thinking--this is never going to work) by counting to ten once she stops crying. It turned out to be genius. So now, when she throws an unwarranted little fit, I put her on the floor, squat down, tell her to stop crying, count to ten, and we are all smiles and good to go!




Friday, October 2, 2009

"I Love Fall, and I Love JT"

So, I have taken a lot of pictures of Cece (as you well know), but honestly, the moment I captured today has got to be one of my all time favorites. JT is my dear friend Janelle's little guy. He's almost two (Cece's following after me--older guys are the way to go). Janelle and JT hosted a pumpkin painting party. When we arrived and Cece saw Janelle, she said, "JT?" I'm serious. And, I did not talk about him at all on the way there or haven't talked about him since we saw them like four weeks ago. Well, I think Cece likes her little friend JT or maybe just his tractor? :) Oh, yeah, and a few pics of her first pumpkin painting: