Wednesday, May 28, 2014

He is Risen!

You can tell how behind I am on blogging as this is our post from Easter. It's been a busy two months of traveling! For Easter, we celebrated with a Nurture Mom's Ministry Spring Fling at the Trinity playground. We blew bubbles, decorated (and ate!) cookies and learned the Jesus story for the holiday. The kids all made a set of Resurrection Eggs (see below), which were a perfect take-home for us to use on Easter morning. 

We had some friends over on the rainy Saturday before Easter to have an in-house egg hunt. Evan, Lizzy Kay and Jackson ran around grabbing eggs, eating goldfish and having a grand old time! 
On Easter morning, we hid some eggs for Jackson to find. 12 of the eggs were our Resurrection Eggs, which told the Easter story. For example, one has a thorn in it for the crown of thorns, one has a dice for when the soldiers cast lots for Jesus' clothing, one has a rock for the stone that was rolled in front of the tomb and the last one is empty because Jesus lives! We wanted to be able to balance the fun of hunting for eggs but also to focus on the meaning of this special holiday and we feel that this way has allowed us to do just that. Once he found all the eggs, we opened the 12 to learn the Easter story and then we did the goldfish/chocolate eggs after church. 

We headed out to BB and Grandad's house following church for a delicious brunch with extended 'family' and for an outside egg hunt. This kid is getting really great at finding eggs in all sorts of places. For weeks following this search, he continued to check those bushes to see if there were surprises lurking inside! 

He is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed!! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stay-Cation #1

We have had many opportunities to travel, as we realize that Baby Byrne #2 is closely-approaching in late September. This April, we used one of my parents' timeshare weeks and stayed at the Ocean Beach Club in Va Beach. What a wonderful week! Aside from JB getting called in on the majority of his on-call shifts, we had a great time relaxing in the cooler weather with our little family of three.  J loved the outdoor and indoor pool, the playground at 31st street and spending time eating ice cream with BB and Grandad. 

mountain climber
early morning play-time at the beach in PJs 

ice cream at North End with Grandad
chilly post-pool Boo! 

dump trucks on the beach

J's job: pushing the elevator buttons
making Easter cookies
JBs indoor soccer game

Friday, May 16, 2014

Trip to Chicago for JB's Oral Boards

In early April we set-out for Chicago for JB's Oral Boards, the culmination of his long journey through med school and residency. Many thanks to Pop Pop and Grandmom who were able to watch J while we jetted off. The first night there, we were able to see our friend, Jonathan, who moved to TN for his first job and to be back near family. We miss the Koertens so much, especially now that they have TWO little kids, but we enjoyed the time we did spend together and now have an excuse to make the long drive to Tennessee sometime (who are we kidding...we will never drive that far...hopefully they will get a desire to visit Virginia again!). 

With a belly fully of steak, JB was all set for his Oral Boards on Sunday morning. I held down the fort in the lobby, catching up on a good book (Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver) while JB made his way through 7 cases with various attending physicians proctoring.  The test is very hush-hush, but as of this past Tuesday, we know that.....

JB (and Jonathan too!) are now officially board certified emergency medicine physicians. The long journey is over! Congrats hubby. 

While in Chicago, we ate good food (of course), such as steak and crab cakes at Gibsons, deep dish pizza at Gino's and classic soft pretzels at a great brewery off the main drag.  By the second afternoon, I was stuffed but somehow pushed through for some more delicious meals later in the weekend! 
The Byrne Baby Bean (15 weeks) at The Bean!
We walked around Chicago, starting at the John Hancock building where we enjoyed a drink (manhattan for JB and a $10 fancy juice for the pregnant lady) in the sky bar overlooking the whole city. What a way to start the vacation part of our vacation! The river was pretty but we opted to avoid the architecture tour by boat as it was slightly to very chilly on the water. Instead, Jonathan found this amazing, eclectic tour of the Pedway System led by a local Chicagoan. The Pedway is a little-known system of connections between buildings that allow people to walk inside over 5 miles of Chicago during the cold winter months. It takes you through the subway, the basement of Macy's, food courts, City Hall, lobbies of fancy office buildings and overpasses. The woman leading the tour did a phenomenal job and we felt like we had a great understanding and appreciation of the city when we finished.  

We even managed to get out for a 5 mile run around Chicago, to see Millennium Park, the Navy Pier and anything else we could stumble upon. Most of our vacations recently have involved sitting in lounge chairs on a cruise ship or at the beach so this was a great change of pace back to our usual active vacation routine! Another enjoyable vacation for the travel journal and best of all, a passing board score! 


Our dear friends Reid and Allyson did a babysitting swap with us the other day and Reid was kind enough to snap these amazing pictures of Jackson and LK out on the swing.