Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Emily and Lyla - Christmas Photoshoot

This post is going to be out of order because Emily had a very exciting and fun 3rd birthday party but since those photos are in Boston and we are in Phoenix we thought we'd post a some photos that our friend Judy Cozza took for us. She did an amazing job so we feel happy to do some free advertising. Check out some of her other photos at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Life with Lyla

We have now had our sweet little Lyla with us for about 5 1/2 weeks. I can't believe how fast time flies. In the few weeks we've spent getting to know our little one I'm amazed at how much of a personality they come with, even at this tiny size. Like all babies, Lyla will sleep pretty much all day if we let her. However, if we give her attention by talking to her she will (and has since the beginning) focus on us and react as much as she can. As soon as we quit talking to her she zonks right back out.

One of her recent "tricks" that totally bewilders me is I will have Emily sit next to me and we will say, "Lyla, Lyla, find Emily. Where's Emily Lyla?" and Lyla will look around until she focuses on Emily. Then we will repeat it with "Where's Mommy?" or "Where's Daddy?" and she finds whoever we're talking about!

Our Lyla loves, loves, loves to be held! She is the ultimate snuggler. From day 1 if we held her upright against our chest she would instantly calm down and fall asleep. Sometimes her daddy holds her on his chest and they nap together. It's probably the best part of the day for her. They sleep for hours together. Yesterday after Justin left for school I pulled Lyla into bed with me and we snuggled for a while. I had flashbacks of laying with Emily for hours and hours when she was little. It made me want to do the same with Lyla, so I've been trying to remind myself to "slow down" and just love my baby.

Every day I look at Lyla and Emily and smile. I can't believe how blessed I am. I thank my Heavenly Father every single day for these two amazing girls who have me completely smitten!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from The Very Hungry Caterpillar & The Beautiful Butterfly

Where's Lyla??
At 1 week old she fit in with Emily's stuffed animal collection.
We had a really spook-tacular day and we hope you did too!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Squeaky Clean

Little Lyla's gorgeous hair was getting a little 'shiny' so yesterday Justin gave Lyla her first bath. She really didn't dig having all of her clothes off, but the water felt a little better. She really enjoyed being snuggled in the soft towel afterwards.

After the bath Justin received the honor of being the first to be peed on by our sweet little girl :).
I seriously can't get enough of this little girl. I wish life could just hold still and let me just stare at, snuggle, and kiss her ALL day!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Justin

Yesterday was Justin's birthday. We started the day out with pleasant sleep in until 8:30. Thank you Lyla for being an amazing sleeper and Grandma RaDean for keeping Emily occupied. We had a delicious breakfast followed by relaxing and playing with the girls. For lunch Justin and I took advantage of having Grandma here and went on a date to an Indian food restaurant. Then Justin, Emily, and I went and picked my Dad up at the airport for a quick visit and stopped by the famous Mike's Pastry on our way home. We brought home a cannoli, cheesecake, chocolate cake, boston creme pie, and a Halloween cupcake. Delicious. So hopefully it was a great day for Justin. We sure love him around here.

Emily made her daddy a birthday card and here is what it said:
"Dear Daddy,
I love you. I really really love you. You are cute.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello World- My Name is Lyla

We would like to introduce you to our beautiful new daughter. Her name is Lyla Tully Van Dusen. She was born October 24, 2010 at 5:37 p.m. She was 7 pounds, 10 ounces and 20 inches long. She is one of the two most beautiful babies we have ever seen (the other being Emily of course). We love her so much and are excited to share her life with our friends and family!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I forgot to add something to my previous post about apple picking.

On our way home Emily fell asleep and Justin and I were both pretty sleepy. We discussed taking a 'car nap' when we got home so we wouldn't have to wake Emily up. Personally I didn't think it would really happen, but when we got home we pulled in the drive and Justin leaned his chair back. At this point we were both so tired, it honestly seemed like the most logical solution. I followed his lead and back my chair went. The three of us spent the next hour sleeping in our car, in our driveway. What can I say- we're cool.

Apple Picking

Going into this weekend we had one "fall" activity left to do on our list. We went to Honeypot Hill Farms to go apple Picking. It was actually the last day, so the apples were apparently few and far between, but we didn't have any problems finding delicious ones.
In case you were wondering what 39 weeks pregnant (a.k.a. totally done) looks like, here is our adorable family photo from our outing.
This picture was actually taken rather high in the tree. They really are high up in the tree, I just zoomed too much. They are cute though. I like this picture because it reminds me how these past 'weekend outings' Emily has turned into such a Daddy's girl. She only wants him to do everything for her. I'm only there to take the pictures :).
So- Apple Picking. First you walk around and find trees with big delicious looking apples on them. Usually the best ones are up high, so keep your eyes towards the sky.
Then choose how you're going to pick it. You can bend and reach ones that are conveniently at your height...
Or stand on your daddy's shoulders...
Or climb the ladders to reach the ones that are really high.
Sometimes though, the REALLY good ones are just TOO high and trees must be climbed in order to reach them.
Of course, you have to enjoy an apple or two right off the tree. YUM!

After picking we hopped on a hay ride over to the farm to see the animals and taste the treats. There were pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, and bunnies. As far as treats go there were cider donuts and fresh apple cider. I personally loved the donuts, but the apple cider was UNBELIEVABLE. I'm already looking forward to going back next year just for that.

So once again we had a wonderful Saturday spending time with the people we love the most. Hopefully next weekend we'll have another little girl to do fun stuff with!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Busy Weekend

Fall time in New England is full of cool stuff, wait what am I saying, basically every season except for winter is full of cool stuff. Anyways, to get everything in you have to pretty much double up on activities every weekend in order to take it all in.

This past weekend we went to a cranberry harvest celebration. Have you ever seen the Ocean Spray commercials where the people are wearing their waders in the huge masses of cranberries- well that scene is real. Isn't this crazy! The workers round up all the cranberries from the bog with ropes and coral them into those 4 posts. There is then a vacuum underneath that pulls the berries down, through some tubes, up a conveyor belt and into a truck. It's was surprising pretty neat to watch.

This following picture will have to count as a 38 week pregnant picture since I don't really document weekly pictures. But fyi- that is how pregnant I am here.
I'm not exactly sure where it is from, but there was a HUGE dirt pile for people to play on. Justin and Emily climbed all the way to the top and then ran down. Pretty simple entertainment. I think Justin was reminded that he isn't quite as young and agile as he use to be.

They had a little station where you could make a "bog in a cup." It gave directions for how to keep it alive through the winter. I think we're (Justin) is going to give it a try.

The Ocean Spray exhibit had a little "bog" for the kids to play in. I love how easily entertained kids are, because they could have played in these cranberries forever.
Here are all of the kids we were with. Well kids and Bob :). I love afternoon outings with friends! They are so relaxing and fun.
After the cranberry festival we headed down to a zoo in Rhode Island that holds a Pumpkin Spectacular every year. There are thousands of pumpkins really interestingly carved and displayed. We took a couple of pictures, but you can't use a flash and I just used my phone, so the quality isn't the best. However, you can get a sense for how incredible the carving was. Sadly I didn't take any pictures of the HUGE pumpkins which were the neatest. I don't really know what I was thinking. Anyways, here's a couple.
After the pumpkin festival we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. A lovely ending to a crazy day.

Monday was Columbus Day. Our town does an annual "Belmont Serves" service day every Columbus day. We missed it last year, but thought it would be fun to go do this year. We signed up to collect food for the local food pantry. It was really fun to go door to door and talk to people. Emily thought it was really fun too. It is nice to have her old enough to somewhat explain that we are doing something to help other people.
We had actually planned on going apple picking/pumpkin patch/corn maze after the activity. However, we got home and all fell asleep. Maybe we'll do that next weekend.

Sadly, even with all of these activities our little Nemo decided she didn't want to come join us. Maybe that will happen next weekend too.