The Evans Four

blogging about our life as a family

Ahem. April 17, 2014

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,pregnancy — aarontori @ 12:07 AM
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Well, we’ll have to change the name of the blog again…

 

 

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Five years well-lived August 5, 2013

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,Uncategorized — aarontori @ 9:05 PM
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Five years ago, Aaron and I were making our last-minute preparations for our wedding. I was quitting my job (very unexpectedly) and Aaron’s summer position was coming to an end. We were moving his things into my/our tiny converted-garage apartment. We were also about to begin our senior years of undergraduate study. Life was crazy and busy, but also so incredibly care-free (other than that whole newlyweds-and-jobless business, but it was barely a blip on our worry radar). We were married on an absolutely scorching day in August. The high was 103 and I was so terrified that my professional (read: expensive) makeup was going to melt. I finally got around to putting our wedding pictures into an album this past spring. Elizabeth really loves to look through the photos and so I look at them frequently with her. In our pictures we look SO young, especially Aaron. Without his man-beard (that I adore), he looks all of 14 years old 😛 It was a blur of excitement and preparation right up until my dad walked me down the aisle. My dad just barely made it in time, we forgot to ask our friends to hand out the programs, and my maid of honor nearly forgot Aaron’s ring in the dressing room. I honestly don’t remember the exact moment of walking down the aisle. I have a video and a photo of it, but I can’t see it in my mind. It is all such a blur now. The things I remember most about the ceremony are:

  • the preacher had some sort of accident the day before and had a small cut on his head and seemed a little bit “off”
  • little Nathan (our ring bearer) dropping the ring pillow repeatedly
  • trying not to cry during my vows
  • not “the kiss”, but the one after we walked out the doors into the foyer; the one that was just for us

Our reception was wonderful. I so much enjoyed walking between the tables, meeting my new family members, and introducing Aaron to his new family. It was really wonderful and at the end of the night when we got to our beautiful honeymoon cottage we were dead tired. Part of the wedding night package was an 8×10 photo of us when we arrived. I tore it up because we both looked terrible. It is hard to believe we’ve been married 5 years. On one hand it feels like we’ve been together so much longer and we’ve experienced so much that it must be at least 10. On the other hand I still sometimes feel as though we can’t possibly be 26 yet. How did we get here and where did the time go? We’ve managed to live our lives to the absolute fullest extent and even to bursting these last five years. Here are some of the most memorable moments (some are highlights and others not-so-much):

  • Finishing college/graduation (being newlyweds in college was nearly unheard of at TCU, but at UNT I was in good company)
  • Our “honeymoon summer” (driving around the country and bumming with friends and family during our month-long limbo between college and Camphill)
  • Moving to Pennsylvania and Camphill Soltane (this was an incredible experience that was both trying and fulfilling)
  • The moment we agreed that it was time to grow our family (I still have the note written in black crayon on a Friendly’s napkin)
  • Hearing Elizabeth’s heartbeat for the first time
  • Being terrified that we were losing our baby at 11 weeks and then another scare at 30 weeks that I’d be forced to have a c-section
  • Coming back home to Texas (homeless, jobless, and very pregnant)
  • An answer to prayer: a home and wonderful jobs caring for the elementary girls at Happy Hill Farm/NCTA
  • The wonderful birth of Elizabeth Joy Evans (September 2010)
  • My mom coming to live with us (April 2011-February 2012)
  • Paying off the Versa; our car (a very proud moment for me)
  • Baby Dos on the way (July 2011)
  • Leaving HHFA and starting work at ACI while Aaron and Elizabeth enjoy being at home together (October 2011)
  • Another answer to prayer: an Apartment Life placement (February 2012)
  • The even more amazing birth of Owen Cody Evans (April 2012)
  • Loss of our apartment life placement and back to HHFA/NCTA (August 2012)
  • Caring for 4-6 spirited, but mostly wonderful junior high boys
  • Leaving NCTA once more (June 2013)
  • The Versa turning over 100,000 miles (a very proud moment for Aaron)
  • Watching our second baby grow into a toddler and our first into a preschooler

The last five years have been rather nomadic and slightly chaotic. We’ve constantly stepped out in faith and been so incredibly blessed. We’ve made amazing friends, learned hard lessons, and grown even closer together. We have worked side-by-side together for most of our married life, something that not many married couples could ever imagine doing gracefully, but we relished it. Aaron is my best friend, the same as it was back in 2006 when we began dating, the same as it was in 2008 when we were married. He is a wonderful, steadfast, and loving husband. It has been the greatest joy and pleasure of my life to watch him become a father. He is so wonderful with Elizabeth and Owen. He’s taught Elizabeth all about photosynthesis. She can pronounce it and explain it to you (with hand motions and everything)! Owen adores his Dada and for a frustratingly long time referred to me as Dada too 🙂

Sometimes people are surprised that we are married with two kids at only 26. They ask why we got married so young; are shocked that we are not only happy about having kids already, but that we actually had them on purpose; and they wonder if we have regrets. Sure we still rent and have student loan debt. No, we aren’t well-off financially, and we may not have as much “freedom” as others our age , but the last five years have been more full of love and happiness than the preceding 21 years of my life combined and I have absolutely no regrets.

Happy anniversary, Aaron. You’re the love of my life and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as we grow old together.

 

The Evans Four March 25, 2012

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,holidays,moving,pregnancy,work — aarontori @ 10:09 PM

Hello Friends and Family!

It has been far too long since we posted (as usual) so there is much to tell.

First off, we’ve moved and begun our journey as a CARES Team for Apartment Life! We moved in at the beginning of February with the help of some very awesome friends we were able to get all of our things packed and moved in a single weekend. We found out that we got the CARES position at 5 on Friday and were completely moved and had the duplex empty and clean by 5 on Sunday! A BIG part of it was thanks to the Lehews loaning us their pickup truck and the tireless efforts and rallying cry of our dear friend, Ryan Crowe.

We moved to Copper Crossing, an apartment community on the border between Benbrook and Fort Worth. It’s very conveniently located and we love the staff. They had a CARES team here previously, but it had been about 10 months or so since the other team had left, which means we’re sort of having to start over again. We’ve had small turnouts for our events so far, but got some ideas from our mentor team and will be adapting our approach in April based on their advice/feedback.

It is so nice to be living in our own place again. We’ve been procrastinating on some things, but for the most part Aaron had everything unpacked and put away within the first couple of days.We still need to buy and hang some curtains for the kids’ room, hang our pictures, organize a few things, and decorate. This is supposed to be my area, but I’ve been too tired/lazy at the end of the day to want to do it.

Elizabeth has her own room (for now) and is loving it. When we moved in we just went ahead and converted her crib to a toddler bed and she’s done an awesome job staying in it at night. Now if we could just make the actual process of going to sleep less of a drawn-out battle we’d be set. She’s officially one and a half, which is so hard to believe. She has 12 teeth (and 4 more breaking through at the moment). She talks constantly, loves to yell out whatever it is that she’s doing at the moment (“I’m running! I’m walking! I’m sitting! I sit next to you!”), and has started to sing just a little bit. We’ve been very slowly and inconsistently working on potty training since Christmas, but she’s really gotten on the bandwagon here recently. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we have a washer and dryer in our apartment now (thanks to Aaron’s parents!) and so we’ve started cloth diapering again. She is going to be the world’s best big sister. She adores her baby brother already and talks to and about him quite a lot. She loves to lift my shirt and give him hugs and kisses.

That brings me to the biggest thing we’ve got going on in our life at the moment: baby watch 2012! We’re expecting our son, Owen Cody Evans, anytime now. We had an ultrasound 3 weeks ago and found out that we’re having a boy. By the doctor’s guess he was about 6 pounds the day of the ultrasound. Elizabeth was only 6 lbs 4 oz when she was born, so it looks like he’s going to be significantly bigger than his sister.

We’ve had our bag packed for the birth center and the carseat installed for a little over a week now. The bassinet is set up in our room, his clothes are ready for him, and now all that’s missing is little baby Owen. His due date is April 5th, but I highly doubt we’re going to have to wait that long.

Stay tuned for the latest news from baby watch 2012!

Here’s a link to our family pictures we had taken last week while we were still just the three musketeers.
Family Photos March 2012

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! December 31, 2011

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,friends,fun,holidays,pictures,plans,pregnancy,work — aarontori @ 12:53 PM

Hello friends and family! We hope the year’s end finds you well! It has been a year full of changes and growth for us, and we’d like to share with you how our lives have changed.

We’ve moved away from Happy Hill Farm Academy, where we were resident parents for the girls’ elementary house. We enjoyed our time there, and we’ll miss the friends we made, but we’ve moved on to some exciting prospects.

Elizabeth has grown so much this year, and is now running and talking about everything she sees. Her vocabulary is getting larger by the hour (just this hour she learned “Earth” “Asia” and “Ocean” while we were on a walk looking at a sculpture of the earth, and correctly pointed out “berries” on a nearby bush).  While sometimes unsteady on her feet, she is always going full speed ahead. She has bruised knees and forehead, but rarely cries; she is quick to get up and try again. She can even read a few of her books to you if you ask. She has a way to go on learning not to scream inside or throw food when she is finished, but she has mastered saying “Thank you” and is doing well on learning “Please” and “You’re welcome”. Her most recent adventure is apparently potty training. She has been showing some interest in the potty as of late, and so we went ahead and purchased a potty chair with some Christmas money. Last night she sat on it twice and peed both times! Hard to believe, but this girl is just way ahead of the curve when it comes to just about everything.

Tori is now 26 weeks along into pregnancy number 2. Mom and baby are both very healthy and growing bigger by the moment. Elizabeth absolutely adores the baby (for now) and since she won’t really be able to remember life without a sibling we’re hoping it stays that way come April. We still don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl, but will likely have an ultrasound in January. We’ll keep you posted.

Tori began working at Autism Concepts Inc. as an ABA therapist in October. She is loving being back doing what she trained to do in college and while she is tired at the end of the day, she is excited about the work she did and how the children she is working with are progressing.

Aaron is staying at home with Elizabeth, and loving the opportunity to work on learning words, sounds, numbers, and all sorts of things with her. They go on walks and enjoy looking at (and touching) the sculptures around TCU and listening to people playing in the music school.

Currently we are living just down the street from TCU, and the walk to church is less than 30 seconds. It’s much nicer than the hour long drive we used to have to make! We’re waiting on word from Apartment Life, where we will be moving in to an apartment complex within 10 miles from where we are now, helping them with resident retention, and ministering to the staff and residents.

We are doing well and hope you all are too. Tori finally got around to uploading all of our pictures through Christmas, so enjoy!

May 2011

June 2011- We were terrible and have no pictures from the month of June…oops

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

Elizabeth’s First Birthday!

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

 

Elizabeth is One! September 25, 2011

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,friends,fun,pregnancy — aarontori @ 1:18 AM

We celebrated Elizabeth’s first birthday last weekend. It’s hard to believe that time has gone by so fast. We threw her a party at Mr. Jim’s (a small pizza place in Glen Rose).

Quite a few family members came as well as our good friends, Phillip and Julieta. Elizabeth got lots of really fun presents and was absolutely in her element to be surrounded by so many of her adoring fans. She is definitely a social butterfly.

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Some of the amazing things she’s doing these days:
-walking (and trying very hard to run)
-talking A LOT (I guess she is my daughter)
-giving the most adorable hugs and snuggles
-making her wants known (sometimes screaming them)
-understanding a very surprising amount of what we say

Some of her words that she says now are: yellow, red, purple, up, go, more, milk, eat, teeth, baby, duck, quack, mama, dada, grandma, hi, hey, no, meow, neigh, woof, puppup, nite-nite, bye, apple, chicken, and quite a few more that aren’t easily intelligible. She is also repeating a lot of what we say, so we’re doing our best to remember not to say anything we don’t want repeated.

Some big news is that at her birthday party, Elizabeth made the announcement to our family that she is going to be a big sister! She got a big sister shirt as a gift from Aaron and I.

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I’m 12 weeks along and due the first week of April. So far this pregnancy has been much easier and I’m very grateful because now that she’s truly mobile, it takes a lot to keep up with Elizabeth. We had a checkup on the 13th and got to hear the heartbeat which was great. All is well and we’re excited!

 

Mother’s Day Video May 8, 2011

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,holidays — aarontori @ 5:52 PM

Here’s the video that we put together for our moms and grandmas. It’s pretty fun 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there 🙂

-Tori

 

Lots ‘o Pictures! April 24, 2011

I just figured out how I can share all of my picture albums from Facebook with those that don’t have an account.

Here are special links to each of the albums of Elizabeth pictures except for March because somehow I failed to upload any pictures last month. Don’t worry though, because I took pictures and will upload them eventually.

WARNING: There are a lot of pictures here. I really need to learn to pick and choose better, but I can’t help it.

Incubating

First Two Days

Some more from the first week or so

September 2010

October 2010

Hair Bows and Cute Faces

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

From now on I’ll just post each album at the end of the month. I sure am glad I figured this out so I don’t have to try and double post everything. Enjoy! Please let me know if the links aren’t working for you.

-Tori

 

 
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