Saturday, December 3, 2016

November

November was another fun month for us! I can not believe it is already December!
Seriously, how did that happen?
Anyway, here's the monthly photo dump!


We started out the month by taking some family photos!
(thanks Bri!)










We also had an awesome BBQ with some friends in the park.
I haven't had a hot dog in like two years, and it was fantastic!
James & Cohen loved playing in the leaves.


We made turkey hats with Char & James. 
(James refused to be photographed in his)


We visited a new playroom called Busy Bees in Arlington. It was lots of fun!




Also enjoyed more park days...
(Seriously 60+ degrees in November is my favorite!)


Charlotte turned 8 months!
At 8 months she is crawling, has one tooth, is starting to sleep better, loves to babble, play, take baths, and watch her brother. She is not a fan of any green foods, or sitting in her car seat. She is also getting really good at telling on her brother when he teases her too much! We love our little Charlotte!


Aunt Ruthie came to visit for Thanksgiving, which means we get the opportunity to do lots of fun touristy things! Our good friend, Jordan, gave us a tour of the Capitol building. 


Me & Char all bundled up to walk in the city

Inside the Capitol dome

Checking out the Speaker's Balcony

 We also got to visit Annapolis and took Ruth to our favorite hole in the wall there.
Brunch is everyone's favorite (except maybe James)

 Annapolis was FREEZING! But we had fun walking around anyway!



This year we shared Thanksgiving with friends! 
It was so fun and I am always happy when food is involved.



We took a little trip to see Lancaster, PA. It was a beautiful drive-
this is a picture overlooking the Susquehanna River. 


We visited Turkey Hill where they make ice cream. 
James got to milk a fake cow, we got unlimited ice cream, and we got to create our own flavor.
It was so much fun!
(again, I love food...)




We visited Amish country and took a ride in a buggy. The driver even let James drive for a little bit.
It was so fun learning about their way of life and getting out of the city!




We got to feed some goats, which James was LOVING.


We went out to dinner and James got a dessert with his meal.
Seriously, this is a kid dessert.
He was in heaven!


From Lancaster we drove up to Hershey, PA to visit the Hershey Factory.
We got there at night and so we got to check out the Hershey Sweet Lights.
It was fun to drive through the lights and get the Christmas season off to a good start!


The next day we visited the factory. It was interesting to see how Hershey's chocolates are made and not so fun listening to Rob complain about how American chocolate is not as good as English Chocolate. Next time we will visit Cadbury.

This is how I feel every time I eat a Reese's:


James is our chocoholic and was pretty much in chocolate heaven allllll day long.


It was a fun visit, and I highly recommend checking it out!
From Hershey we drove up to Gettysburg and visited the battlefield and the town.
It was very interesting, and James was hangry, thus no pictures.
When we got home from our trip we made a little gingerbread village!
From left to right:
Me, James, Ruthie, Rob


We had such a fun visit with Ruth and were so sad to send her home!
I think we wore her out though, so she is probably going to need a vacation from her vacation.
We can't wait to see her back in May for Rob's graduation!

We are SO excited for December.
This year we will be staying in DC for Christmas and we have had so much fun decorating our house and getting our first tree. Both of our kids even loved seeing Santa! James ran right up to him and gave him a big hug and started telling him everything he wanted for Christmas.



We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with family and friends.
We have been truly blessed this year to be surrounded by amazing people who have laughed with us, cried with us, and served us in so many ways. Thank you for being our family, neighbors, and friends.
We love you all!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Love, The Starlings

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October

October was such a crazy month for us! I feel like we had something to do every weekend, which is great, but also I am ready for a break. Let's hope November brings lots of empty weekends and beautiful fall days.

We started out the month by exploring the National Arboretum. We had never been there before and it was a really pretty drive around all of the trees. A welcome relief from city life. We also found some cool columns to hang out at!




We spent a few days at the park and met a new friend, Champ.


We visited Cox Farms with friends. It was so fun and festive and a great way to kick off the month. 

Char & Benson


Getting attacked by goats- James was screaming and crying the whole time.


Riding a horse


All the babies (benson, drew and char)                   Family photo (minus daddy)


James loved going down all the slides!


James started Co-op preschool this month. He loves hanging out 
with his friends and doing new projects.


Visiting the National Zoo!


Rob and I went on a date night to get gelato and walk around the monuments. The gelato was delicious and it was so cool seeing the monuments at night.



I threw Rob a little surprise birthday party at Good Stuff Eatery. We had fun hanging out and eating dinner with friends and then playing games at our house. He's getting old!



We visited daddy on campus and had lunch with him.


Kiddos sharing a stroller at the zoo


Char wearing her cute outfit knit by the amazing Susanne


Playdate with Sephora


We went on a triple date and did an escape room. 
We made it out with a whopping 3 minutes to spare!


Me and my little lady before church. 


Love these cute kiddos so much!


Charlotte turned 7 months old this month! I seriously have no idea why time is going by so fast but I hate it. I just want her to stay little forever! At 7 months Charlotte is sitting up on her own, eats solids twice a day, sleeps an almost solid 12 hours at night, loves to laugh and smile, loves watching her brother, is close to crawling, and is totally dramatic. We love her so much!



We went to Old Town Alexandria and fed the ducks and got ice cream.


Trunk or treat for the ward party. Rob won best costume!


Charlotte learned how to clap! This video is the cutest!


Charlotte's first time in a shopping cart. 
Everyone kept stopping and telling me how cute they were.


Finding the LOVE sign in Old Town. The sign moves around Virginia and is part of an ad campaign to advertise the state.


Celebrating James Birthday! We decked the house out in Paw Patrol gear and he was so excited to see it when he woke up. We started the morning off with pancakes and bacon, his favorite breakfast. He opened a new train set from Grandma and Grandpa. He picked Red Robin for dinner because he wanted "mac and cheese and chocolate milk." After dinner we came home and had cake and ice cream with friends. He had such a fantastic day and it was so fun watching him realize his birthday is special. The next morning he woke up and asked if it could be his birthday again.









We took the kids trick or treating in Old Town on Halloween. It is always so festive and fun down there. Everyone dresses up and it's fun to see all of the kids costumes. All of the little kids loved James costume and kept saying "There's Chase!" He was loving it. Char was a little lamb for her first halloween. She loved riding in the stroller (pushed by her adoptive Aunt Bri) and watching all of the kids. Some people gave her little candies to hold on to as we walked. She thought it was the best!
We finished the night off with a $3 dinner at Chipotle. I love this time of year!


James and Cohen dressed as little Paw Patrol buddies





What we are looking forward to:
-Auntie Ruth visiting for Thanksgiving
-Thanksgiving! (YAY FOOD!)
-Christmas shopping
-Cooler weather