Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Playing with Malena

A trip to Duluth just wouldn't be complete without a visit to see Malena, Ella's cousin. Now that the girls are getting older, you can hardly tell that there is an age difference between the two. Ella is only 5 weeks older than her cousin. They are exploring toys together and sort of had their first little fight. It was pretty cute, actually. Both of the girls wanted to hold Becky's keys. Unfortunately for Malena, Ella is a little more mobile (being older), so she definitely had an advantage. You can see it in the bottom two photos.

Now that we know we'll be moving to Duluth in the next couple of months, Becky (my sister) and I have been making plans for our girls. Walks, beach days, trips to the playground, and quite possibly a dance class when they are just a little older. A lot is ahead for these two little cousins!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Winter Hike

I've decided I must post these pictures today simply because today it is more than 70 degrees outside. Spring! I took these pictures only a couple weeks ago when Ella and I were visiting my parents. She was bundled up in her adorable snow suit, nestled in her carrier, and off we went. My parents only have dirt roads surrounding their house and, since the weather had warmed for a day or two, everything was quite muddy. Therefore, we made our trek with the carrier rather than the stroller. I love having Ella snuggled in that close. We're definitely looking forward to lots of hikes as the spring progresses!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Super Bowl

Yes, the Super Bowl was a good while ago, but I didn't want to miss posting these pics from the big night. It was a pretty quiet night, actually. Brian & Beth came over, we ate some of the typical party food, and Ella played with a paper bag. A paper bag. See? The best toys aren't toys at all!

I'm not sure which team she was cheering for
brian focusing on the game
ella loves to cuddle with beth, even when she's also trying to play with the camera

with her paper bag

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Farm

There's no question that with every visit to Grandma & Grandpa Scott's house, Ella gets her fill of kisses, sniffs, and fur. Grandma & Grandpa have two dogs, five or six cats (they are pet sitting a couple of them), one guinea pig, a whole lot of finches, two bearded dragons, and two horses. Ella absolutely loves them! She giggles and giggles at the cats when they stroll by and tries to pet the dogs as they do their best to lick her cheeks. Here are a few pics from a recent trip to "the farm."

Grandma's puppy Gracie who is two weeks younger than Ella
kitties everywhere!
Luther & Gracie
the only chicken on the farm

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It's been a pretty intense week! I can't believe it was a week ago that we found out we'll be heading back to Duluth. Ella had a fantastic time after the match ceremony on Thursday playing with Grandma & Grandpa Olsen and Auntie Kristin. They stayed with her that night as well while Pete & I celebrated along with most of the other U of MN students who matched at a party downtown. We're still excited over the news!

A few weeks ago, we took an afternoon drive to Hudson, Wisconsin after Brian & Beth told us about a hot air balloon festival there. We had no idea what the festival included but decided to poke around the town and see what we could find. Shortly after arriving in Hudson, we found a field of balloons! They were just beginning to fill for an afternoon launch. We found a good parking spot and hung out in the warmth of the Jeep while the balloons floated away.

Just a few more years, El.
Ella's favorite hat from our friends in Bolivia!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Match Day!

What is Match Day exactly? I had never heard of Match Day before I was introduced to the world of medical school and all that it contains. (It's a big and very busy world, to say the least.) Match Day is the day in March when every fourth-year medical student across the country finds out where they have "matched" for residency. We went through a series of interviews, hospital & clinic tours, and dinners between November and January before creating a "rank list" with our top residency choices. We were informed on Monday via email that, yes, we had been matched with a program, but we weren't told which program it was until we opened our letter on Thursday morning. Apparently, the medical education system likes suspense!
We arrived at the Alumni Center for breakfast at 10am. The place was buzzing with nervous med students and their families. Here's a photo we snapped just before the program began at 10:40. We really just wanted our envelope!

The 20-minute program before the envelope presentation was nice, but I'm pretty sure everyone was only thinking about where they might have matched. Ella and I sat in the back so she could eat and stay busy.

At 11am sharp, we opened our envelope. The letter inside told us exactly what we had hoped! Pete has been selected to train at the family medicine residency in Duluth. We couldn't be happier to be moving back! Hold on, Ella! Daddy's excited!

Come on, El! We're moving to Duluth! You'll love it there!

Now that we've received the word, we can start planning our move. It will take place sometime in May or early June. Pete will probably start orientation in the middle of June and officially begin residency on July 1, which is the same for all students across the country.

This mama is happy to know that we'll be staying in one place for at least the next three years! We'll move, unpack, and stay unpacked for more than 10 months. Incredible! Thanks to everyone who prayed for us and the match over the last few months!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Got Milk?

I love how the most exciting things in Ella's world are not toys. She is incredibly interested in anything normal that can be used as a "child's play thing" (a great phrase from Toy Story that I couldn't help but use as I was thinking about toys). First it was an oatmeal container, which she still plays with nearly every day. She has spent hours, I would guess, sitting in her high chair playing with tubes of cake icing, plastic packages of noodles and measuring spoons while intently watching me wash dishes or bake. It's fun to imagine how she might see each object, completely new and unexplored. It's pretty exciting, really.

In these pictures, she was taking a little break while I cleaned the kitchen. She was having a great time with this milk jug. It's huge compared to her little self!


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