I've gotten behind again the last three months. Now time to try and remember what we've had happen since the last time.
September: We finished off the month celebrating Dakota's 1st birthday. It was so much fun to set things up and have a party for her. Slightly stressful, but very fun. Now that she is over the one year mark, it's amazing to look back and see how much she's grown and how much we've done as a family. Her birthday party was carebear themed with streamers and balloons and bright colors everywhere. My sisters came over and helped me set up and get food ready, which I really appreciated, I needed the help. What was super exciting was that Dakota stood up for the first time on her own right in the middle of everybody. She was out on her blanket in the middle of the lawn, and decided she was going to stand, so she did! I was so proud of her. And Dakota REALLY enjoyed her birthday cake. SaveMart had a special going on, so when we ordered a 1/4 sheet cake, we got a free 8-inch cake for baby's first birthday that matched the sheet cake. She was so dainty at first, Chad had to shove her hands down into the cake before she started enjoying it herself. Dakota had such a sugar rush; she didn't crash until 11 o'clock that night! But she had fun, and that's all that mattered to us.
October: Dakota worked on standing on her own some more, and we kept watching for her to take those first important and exciting steps. She still wasn't that brave though, so we continued to work with her, and wait. As Halloween neared, we started deciding what we wanted to do for costumes and which parties we were going to go to. Every year, our friend Debbie has a party the weekend before Halloween. It's always a lot of fun, and it's huge. So Chad and I knew we'd be going to her party. I dressed up as a swedish barmaid, and Chad went as a breathalyzer test with a twist. He was a big hit to say the least. It was hard to find a costume for him this year, there really wasn't much that was interesting to him, but we made things work. The hard part this year was that I got tired early, and we went home around 11pm. As it turns out, I'm pretty thankful that we left early. Not long afterwards, there were a few fights and the police were called out. When we left there was a policeman in the driveway who had been called out for a noise complaint by the neighbor, and when we returned the next morning to help clean up, there was another taking statements by those involved in the fights. Hopefully, Debbie has another party next year, but I wouldn't blame her if she decides to take a year off after all that happened this year. The plan as far as I know is to make sure that everybody is limited on how many drinks they can have, and to make sure that everybody is the proper age, apparently we had a lot of underage people sneak in this year.
On Halloween, we went to our friend Larry's. He always does a haunted walkway for the trick-or-treaters that everybody in the area comes to check out. This year Chad and I took Dakota trick-or-treating, which was a lot of fun. I dressed up as a cowgirl, and Dakota went as a baby leopard. She was so cute!!! We figured it would be fun to take her out and get her used to the holiday and all that comes with it. Next year she'll understand it more, but it was fun to take her out anyway. She got to grab our hands and do some walking that way, which she is getting really good at, if we're not ready she'll take off faster than we expect and end up pulling herself backwards. But she had a lot of fun walking with Carissa (age 4) for a little while on Halloween.
November: So far this month has been amazing. On the first day of the month Dakota decided to take her first steps for her dad and Grandpa Blaine while I was getting her bath ready (so I missed them!). It took a few days to get her to do it again, but I finally got to see her walk. I am thrilled. I can't wait to have her really walking and starting to run. I know everybody tells me that I won't be saying that when she is, but I don't care, I honestly can't wait to see her achieve the next stage of her abilities. I am so proud of her every time she learns something new. Then, on the 6th Chad and I went to Pismo so I could finally get my birthday present. Back in January, Chad's gift to me was a new tattoo. And I absolutely love it! I still have color to get done on it, but I love it. Now, before it becomes an issue, it's already done, and it's not going away. You don't have to like it, but it's there. I won't be pressuring anybody in any way about it, so please do not lecture me about it. I will be respectful of you and keep it covered if I know you don't approve, please just respect my choice to get it. Anyway, if you'd like to see pictures, let me know by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send them to you, but otherwise I won't be putting it on display for everybody to see.
I'm excited for Thanksgiving this year. Chad and I will be joining my family in Modesto for dinner, and I'll get to see many of my cousins from the east coast who will be visiting: BJ and his new wife, Ally, Brienne, Connor, Michelle, and some of their friends. I can't wait to see them all, it's been 6 years since I've seen many of them, and I've never had the chance to meet Ally, so I'm looking forward to getting to know her and introduce them all to my little family.
Future Plans for the Snavely Family: Next month Chad and I are going to be going on a cruise to Ensenada. It's a 3-day cruise just to Ensenada and back, but I'm looking forward to it anyway. I bought a stunning dress to wear for the formal captain's dinner, and I can't wait to have Chad see me in it. We'll leave December 4th and return on the 7th. I can't wait! I'm also really excited since Chad and I have decided to start trying to add another little miracle to our family in the near future, so wish us luck!