Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Letter (by Justin)

So, most of you know that normally every year I write up a nice long Christmas letter to let everyone know how the year went.  Well, I decided against printing it out this year and including it with our Christmas cards.  Not cause I am a cheap bastard...but because I honestly don't know if the Postal Service will be able to deliver it according to recent news.  So...I am making the switch to digital!

As you probably know, this has been a major year for us.  I started a new job January 1 and we moved out to Bozeman, MT in the middle of March.  Well, actually I moved out here in the middle of March, did all of the unpacking, and then Kristin and Kaitlyn showed up in the beginning of April.  Funny...I seem to remember completely unpacking our last house by myself as well.  Oh well, I am sure it was harder for Kristin since she had never even been to MT and we were already in a lease on a house she had never seen.  Good thing she trusts my impeccable judgment!  We have had a lot of visitors and have had a few vacations ourselves.  We both had close friends get married so we went to weddings and bachelor/bachelorette parties, went to Yellowstone a few times, I went to Colorado with my dad and brother, and we went to Wyoming on my company's summer meetings.  Needless to say we had lots of fun this summer!  I also played in a golf league every Wednesday night with a bunch of guys.  Don't get me wrong...I am still a hack.  Just now I am a 23 handicap hack instead of 36, and that included a stint on the injured reserve list for a few weeks due to a weird elbow dislocation.

As far as our family goes.  Things are great!  Kristin is six months pregnant with our son.  I am fired up to have a boy!  Kaitlyn has gotten so big you probably won't recognize her.  She is a ton of fun and also a real pistol at times.  She started making this face like Chuckie from the old Child's Play horror movies when she says no to something or tells Gunther (Gunner) to stop trying to eat her hot dog 'ronis!  It started out of the blue and she does it on occasion.  Personally it kind of freaks me out.  No really, I sleep with one eye open now.

It has been difficult to leave all of our family and friends, but this is such an amazing place that it has helped ease the transition.  Plus we had a lot of visitors over the summer and did a ton of fun stuff!  Funny how now that it is 8 degrees out nobody is out here visiting...

Gunther is still a total PITA, but we love him.

And as for Kaitlyn...she experienced a lot of new things this year and has grown tremendously from each new experience.  Here are just some highlights.  

She went to a rodeo with her boyfriend Bridger,

helped us grow some vegetables in our garden,

caught her first fish,

got a big girl bed,

(Gunther thinks we got it for him)

took a dance class,

hiked up a mountain (that is the valley we live in),

hiked to a waterfall,

carved her first pumpkin (there is that Chuckie face again!)

met Santa and Mrs. Claus,

and had a great summer just being a kid!

We have had a great year!  We love it out here!  Please come visit!  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's a BOY!!! ...What do you do with a boy?

They have officially determined BOY!  We are ecstatic! So far, everything looks good and healthy, which is a blessing.  He was moving all over the place, so much that we were there well over an hour with them trying to get the measurements needed.
Kaitlyn resisted at first, saying "Nooooo, it's not! It's a girl! It's a sister."  But, it didn't take long to convince her it was a boy, then when we told her the name, she approved immediately! Here is Kaitlyn revealing the news last week, which we also posted on Facebook.

This baby is going to be "Charlie"- Charles Armstrong Hill.  Named after my dad, Charles Arthur Alexander and also Justin's grandfather, Eric Charles Armstrong Hill.  Justin and his dad, Mark, also carry the middle name Armstrong, which has history of more of a family name than a middle name (with a story behind it).
My dad, Charlie, had three sisters, two daughters, three grand-daughters, and a female dog, so he is extra-thrilled to have a new male little buddy in the family!
Here's some pictures from the ultrasound, I know nobody else really cares, but I figured since I was blogging about it, I might as well include a couple!

His profile looks very similar to how Kaitlyn's looked, and, once again, they said he has long legs, so maybe he will be tall like Justin!

Busy Weekend Ahead!
Last night Justin and I went to a Christmas party given by some new friends we've met through his co-workers and golf crew.  It was a lot of fun, and I got to meet several new people.  Today we are going to the Bozeman Christmas Stroll, which is held downtown every year, and is a parade with Santa and tons of kids activities and good food :).  Tomorrow we are going to a Christmas musical at the Ellen theatre called "White Christmas", Justin got tickets for the three of us for my birthday, so I'm sure we will all enjoy that. Then we are doing dinner at "Evelyn's" house (our neighbors- and Evelyn is the little girl who is Kaitlyn's age, and they have a big time together!).

New Family Pics!
Justin's co-worker's wife, Anna, is a great photographer here in town, and so we did a little photo session last weekend for Christmas cards (and it had been a while), so here are a couple below! She is very talented!

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and is enjoying the holiday season!
-The Hills :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Exciting New Addition...

Yep, it's what you think, we are expecting a new addition to the Hill house this Spring, and couldn't be more excited!  I'm feeling great so far- Due date is April 10th (although we know how that went last time... about a month early), and we get to find out the much anticipated gender in exactly 1 week!!! The day before Thanksgiving!

It is such a mystery to me- I cannot wait until I know whether it's a boy or girl.  It just clears up so many questions, and beyond that, there has been a major girl trend in both of our families for some time, so a boy would really add an interesting twist.  I am one of two girls, my dad has three sisters, my sister has two girls, Justin's sister has two girls, and we have Kaitlyn!  It will be interesting- if it is a boy, the poor thing won't stand a chance with all those female cousins or he'll just get completely spoiled by them!  Very exciting.

The other exciting part is that come springtime, I'll be done working for a while, and be able to stay at home with the new little one!  I am so ready for this, been working so hard the past few years, and it is so challenging to try to balance work and being a mother.  I know the biggest challenge is probably going to be just being a mother, but at least I can start focusing all of my attention on it rather than splitting it between the two.  Moms that have gone from working to not working, I welcome your advice and ideas on how to best make that transition...

Here are some great pics we got on a hike we did through Hyalite Canyon, where there is a really beautiful waterfall. Gunther came on the adventure and didn't want to leave!

Well, it's officially cold now!  We had a nice drawn out October of cool fall weather and beautiful leaves, and delayed snow... but it is coming!  It's snowing as I'm writing this... right now I say it's beautiful, check back with me in March, and there might be some other choice words.  My mom was just here for a week while Justin was at a conference back east, and she saw snow in the forecast and said, "When do you think it will let up, Are we gonna be snowed in the whole week?"  And we just laughed because it will now snow from November to March/April, but life goes on, they have plows, and gravel trucks, and everyone bundles up and has 4 wheel/ All wheel drive and just goes about their life.  People love to ski and snowboard, take their kids sledding, and just really get in the middle of it, and that's what I love about this town, people really take advantage of all that it has to offer and make the best of it and enjoy.

Other new developments!  Kaitlyn is potty-trained!  Got her first haircut over the weekend, it took a while to get any hair at all!  She now loves to sing the ABC's and has been counting for a while now. She's really excited about being a big sister, she says she's going to teach "her" everything:  how to walk, talk, eat, crawl, and run.  Kaitlyn insists it's a girl!  She loves going to her pre-school, and enjoys making new friends!

Justin is doing great- He is enjoying his job and there are lots of new projects on the horizon that will be keeping him busy. He has done a phenomenal job at getting involved in the community and meeting new people (which he's never had a problem with).  But there is several organizations he latched onto immediately, which has been great: a LEADS group, Leadership Bozeman program, the Bozeman Trout Unlimited, and a Men's Golf League to name a few.  

We are planning to head back to Atlanta 12/22 through 1/3 for a nice long holiday visit!  So excited to see family and friends and be able to spend Christmas and New Years with everyone!  It will be busy but fun, and we plan to make the most of it!

Everyone have a great week!!!  I'll be doing a post with the gender specifics before Thanksgiving so stay tuned!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Summer Recap- Part 2

Justin's Parents and Sean- 4th of July!
Again, I know I'm behind, but it really was a crazy summer that I am still trying to get my arms around!
The second Montana visit was Justin's parents and his youngest bro, Sean!  We had a great time celebrating the 4th, and another interesting trip to Yellowstone Park!  We got some great pictures thanks to Sean taking over the camera while Justin was driving!  Here's some of the best of Yellowstone... Actually, let's start with the video of a herd of buffalo running down the road as the guys were heading to go fishing.  This was wild, they are just driving along, and there's this herd, hundreds, just moving right along with the traffic...

There was a ton of pics, so here are some of the best!

 Sean, Justin and Mark went fly fishing on the Madison, the Firehole, and the Gibbon Rivers. Props to Sean, who caught the only fish of the trip!

 The Clan! We stayed overnight at West Yellowstone, a quaint little town right outside the West entrance.  It was the 3 Bear Lodge, and our room was themed, with a built in cabin for Kaitlyn (and lucky Sean) with a toddler bed and a twin! It was hysterical!
Here's a male and female elk and an up close bison- I think him and Sean shared some words...

Waterfalls, geysers, bison, elk, lakes, mountains, canyons, hot springs- we tried to see and capture it all! What a truly beautiful place, all in a natural and untouched environment for people to enjoy...

4th of July
Sean had to head on back home to VA on the 4th, so the rest of us went to a nearby little lake to watch the fireworks= don't have pics from these festivities, but people get into their fireworks out here like I've never seen before. There were 5-6 different major fireworks shows going on at each corner of this little pond (smaller than the 7 Oaks pond), right where we were.  Beyond that, because you can see for miles, we could watch shows from all over!  It was crazy.  This was the first year Kaitlyn hasn't been scared of them (like there's been so many years). But her first 4th, we were at Pete and Courtney's wedding, and my parents had her, and her second 4th, we were on vacation at the beach with Pete and Court, and she was terrified, and we went inside.  Haha- so it was nice to enjoy the show!
This was what Kaitlyn's hair looked like when Justin picked her up from school with his family when they arrived! Naptime does a number on her! Haha!

Stay tuned for Summer Recap #3...The Williams and Evans Visits!