2004, Abbreviated

January: Ari begins to crawl, but doesn't like the idea of moving around on all fours. During the first few weeks of crawling she pouted and cried and she moved from place to place. The month flew by as everyone started to get to know Ari's new cousin, Will. Ari also marked an important milestone: this month, she ate dirt for the first time - or at least got caught eating dirt.

February: Will was the talk of Arianna's world this month, as everyone got used to our new arrangements. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Will spends the day with us while his mom goes to work. It's certainly interesting having two small kids running around! Ari isn't too thrilled at sharing, but all good things take time... Arianna also demonstrated her mastery of the stairs, climbing up all by herself.

March: Ari's dad takes on a new look: no hair! Well, less hair then usual, choosing to shave everything but the goatee off. It took awhile, but we've learned to love the new look. It was a quiet month for Arianna, with her working hard on learning to walk and share with Will.

April: Easter! Everyone gatherd at Opa and Omi's house for Easter brunch, followed by an egg hunt. Egg hunting was a little beyone Ari this year, but she had a nice time sitting in her Dad's arms running around the yard and laughing while he wore her Easter hat. Also this month, Ari suffered her first black eye when she pulled the phone stand over onto herself. A nice cut and some bruising transitioned into a nice faint white scar just below her eyebrow. We wrapped up the month with Will's baptism, which was a well attended ceremony.

May: Arianna turns one! We all got together at the beautiful Bee Tree Park to celebrate. We were joined by many family and friends, and we were blessed with wonderful weather. Arianna also started walking - at her own birthday party - though after a couple of tries she reverted to the trusty all fours crawl. And at the end of the month, we left for...

June: Boston! Then on to Bermuda. Our first family vacation (outside of Cornerstone) took us via Amtrak train to Boston. From Boston we took a cruise to Bermuda, where we stayed for a few days. Then back again! It was great. Too many fabulous things to list happened on our trip, but the best was watching Arianna walk around this little park, next to the cruise dock. She took her first truly confidant walks on Bermuda. We also greatly enjoyed visiting with Uncle Frank, Aunt Andrea, and cousins Jared and Hanna.

July: Our second Cornerstone as a family! This year we camped alongside Uncle Ronn and cousins Sean and Jeremy (and their many friends). Uncle Tom went with us again this year. The weather was unbelievable - cool and sunny. Or cool and rainy, but mainly cool, with temperatures staying out of the 90s. It was a great fest, and Arianna had a wonderful time. She came home from Cornerstone dancing to music. 

August: Cousin Anna and her husband Tobias visited from Germany. Arianna and Will went to the zoo with them, and greatly enjoyed the time spent together.  Everyone took lots of pictures. And finally, time to settle back into the regular routine with cousin Will.

September:A quiet month. We spent September just hanging around and enjoying each other's company. A great respite before the holidays.

October:For Halloween this year, Arianna dressed up as a flower. Her Aunt Linda picked it out. Will inherited Ari's frog costume from the year before. Matt, Linda, and Will hosted a Halloween party, where guests were encouraged to come in costume. Ari's Grandpa dressed up as a cow, and we all applauded him for being in the spirit of the party!

November: The week at the lake was certainly the highlight of this month. Matt, Linda, and cousin Will stayed with us for a few days, and we enjoyed shopping, fondue, and visiting Ari's Uncle Tom. Arianna refused to sit still during Thanksgiving dinner, but we made our escape before it got too bad.

December: Not surprisingly, Christmas was a flurry of activity and excitement. Ari held up well under the additional strain. It was fun to see her understand that opening a package had two inherent joys: ripping up the paper AND finding out what the paper concealed. It was cousin Will's first Christmas - the poor guy had to share his new loot with Arianna. :)