Sunday, December 27, 2009

We had a photo shoot today...

Martha-Cate is the best photographer in the world! She's from East Tennessee and her family still lives here. She lives outside of Charlotte with her darling husband, Andy,  but she'll gladly make the trek back to these parts to take your picture!

Here's a link to the pics from today!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh, I almost forgot!

Hello, all you beautiful McEngland blog readers! Today was a MUCH BETTER day than yesterday. Ben took Declan to my Mama's and I felt much better today. Also, my afternoon infusion was cancelled last minute and I got to pick up my sweet son while the sun was still out ( Not seeing a peak of daylight ALL DAY really messes with my ol' mood for SURE). My appetite is still gone as I just picked at lunch but that's ok. I think I'm gonna be  alright after all. I guess Ben won't need to get that paper route after all (You dodged a bullet on that one, Honey Pie! *wink*)

I forgot to give the 4 month update on our little fella. He only gained 3 ounces from last month to this month but he grew almost an inch! The Doc wasn't worried in the least as he gained so much the first 3 months (He's 70% weight and stable at 38% height)  He also gave us the all clear to slowly start baby foods if Declan seemed so inclined. Declan also had to get 4 month shots. He was much easier consoled this time around but the after-effects were worse. He was cranky and he ran a low grade fever off and on for 36 hours after. No FUN!

What was fun was letting Declan try some organic brown rice cereal! He's doing really well with it. Next food on the menu: AVOCADO! Yum! Here's a pic of my handsome prince on his throne enjoying his first feast!

Ok, here's another because I just can't decide which one I like best

And here is one for the ladies...

"Here's lookin' at you, Nana!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

First day back at work...

*I sobbed the entire drive to my Mama's.
*I sobbed when I nursed my son one last time before leaving.
*I sobbed when I kissed him goodbye.
*I sobbed when I drove away.
*I was glad I wore water-proof mascara
*I couldn't remember my clock-in number then...
*I thought I remembered it suddenly.
*I lost my appetite.
*I talked to my Mama at lunch and guess what (here's a hint...I SOBBED!)
*I discovered I was double booked for the afternoon.
*My second infusion was an hour and forty-five minutes late getting started which means...
*I didn't get to leave work until 5 minutes before 6.
*I didn't remember my clock-in number after all...
*I sobbed all the way back to my Mama's.

My son, however, had a GREAT day. Gramma took him to get his picture made with Santa and then they met a friend for lunch. I don't think he even noticed that he hadn't seen me all day. Oh well.

Tomorrow better be easier or else Ben will have to get a paper route. Keep me in your prayers!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This time last year...

Ben and I were celebrating our first married Christmas and Declan, well, he was just a twinkle in his Daddy's eye and a longing in his Mama's heart. 

This year we celebrate our first Christmas as a family.

As my maternity leave comes to it's inevitable end and we bid adieu to what has been a most amazing year I can't help but feel a little bit sad to see them both come to a close. This past year has been chock full of so many blessings for our little family ranging from Ben's fellowship to the discovery, growth and delivery of a healthy, happy bouncing baby boy. Being Declan's Mama is the best thing I've ever done next to marrying his Daddy and I have been very fortunate to have such a long and joyful maternity leave. I've learned so much in these last four months with my beautiful Son! Thanks to Declan, I can experience Christmas with a deeper understanding of the Blessed Miracle and God's incredible sacrifice. It makes my heart explode with gratitude. I hope all of my lovely readers have an amazing Christmas and that 2010 is full of great things!
With so much love,
Katy England 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Declan has officially been to 5 states!

This past weekend we went to Hattiesburg, MS. It really was a neat little college town. It reminded me of a cross between Mobile, AL and Chattanooga, TN but smaller and less established in areas than both of those places. We really had a great visit. Declan and I were taken around town to look at neighborhoods and visit several schools while Ben was in meetings and interviews.

It was unseasonably cold in Hattiesburg but that didn't stop Declan from being happy!

Ben really loved the job, set-up and benefits and I really loved the Catholic school in Hattiesburg. Sacred Heart is pre-K through 12th grade and it is AMAZING. The kiddos are READING by Kindergarten and the whole place hums with curiosity and excitement. The students love to learn at that school and it's truly wonderful. The school infuses the arts into EVERY subject and there is a real focus on community service. It's everything a Catholic school should be and it is exactly the kind of education I want for Declan as well as any other children we may be blessed with.

It has everything we want except all of our loved ones (friends, family, friends that have morphed into family and vice versa). Hattiesburg would be the perfect fit if it were two towns over or even still in-state or if we could just bring everyone we love with us. The thing is that we are so happy and content here in Knoxville. What if we have to move somewhere and we never find that sense of completeness and belonging again? What if where we move never becomes home to us? It's terrifying... which is why I'm asking for prayers.

 I know this isn't an easy thing to do especially since so many of you want exactly what we want, which is for us to stay right here. None the less, please pray that we may find our place and that we end up where we can do the most good. That God's plan prevails and we can trust his will... and learn to suck it up and answer his call no matter how far it takes us from where we want to be.
Thanks, sweet friends.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


*The Daddy will have his first real live "I'm a REAL Doctor" job interview.
*The Mama will be turning 30.
*The Baby will be leaving town for the SECOND time in his life. (Fancy boy!)

The England family is flying to Hattiesburg, MS for Ben's interview. Please keep us and our pilots and fellow travelers in your prayers. Also, please pray that the group LOVES Ben as much as we do and decides they can't live without him OR that if this job isn't a good fit that we can discern that pretty quickly. In addition, if it isn't too much trouble, pray that our first England family trip is a good one.
 Thanks, ya'll!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Did you know that Declan's girlfriend is a supermodel?

Her name is Bridgette and she's a real live cover girl! She's about to be on the cover of KnoxMom's magazine! She's the daughter of our dear friends, the Fawvers. Way to go, Bridgette! We love you and we're so proud of you! (Here's a pic of Bridgette and Declan together!)

Declan and the snow...

(taken from behind a windshield)
As many of you know, Declan and I are spending this weekend in Buffalo with the McDonald grandparents while Ben in is at a conference in Arizona. Today was the first time I've been fortunate enough to be up here for a big fat lake effect snowfall. It was BEAUTIFUL and, of course,  Gramma and Mama decided to bundle Declan up and go... SHOPPING!

Our shopping trip was cut short, however, when Grandaddy called Gramma and said "I've spilled something on my shirt, could you bring me a sweater?" So off we went to Grandaddy's office where Declan decided to do Grandaddy's job for a while.

Here he is in Grandaddy's chair...

Here he is testing out Grandaddy's couch...

Here he is being toted around and doted on by Gramma.

Here he is snuggled in his jammies after a long day.

Declan isn't totally certain about what a CEO does but if today was any indication then he's pretty sure it involves spilling stuff on your shirt, sitting in a chair, laying on a couch, being doted on by Gramma and snuggling in your pajamas with your lambchop lovey. Watch out, Grandaddy, Declan is gunning for your job !*Wink*

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Two pictures from Declan's first air travel experience

First plane ride...

Sitting in the Charlotte airport just talking about Daddy! Declan LOVES his Daddy!

Getting to know you

Wednesday night Ben and I went to Target to pick up a few items for our assorted travels to Phoenix (Ben flew out yesterday), Buffalo (Declan and I flew out today) and Hattiesburg (All three of us leave next Thursday). It was there that I discovered something about my husband that I had never noticed before...

Ben LOVES anything in miniature. In the travel aisle I watched in amusement as Ben delighted in filling the buggy with little mini sized toothpastes, itty bitty deodorants, teeny tiny cans of shaving cream, petite bottles of face wash. When I pointed this out, he noted that his love of miniature did not stop at toiletries, it also encompassed his little wife. So sweet! I could kiss his face off, he's such a love!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Three years ago today...

This very handsome man...

...met this short and goofy girl

and suddenly everything became so clear.

Happy December 1st!

Declan's very first Thanksgiving...

Started on Tuesday when the McDonald grandparents came in.

Wednesday, he got to watch Mama bake some cakes and back on up to the big house we went, where he strolled in his stroller as Mama and Gramma walked and talked... and Bo, Uncle Jamesy's big ol' bull-in-a-china-shop of a boxer, got sprayed by a skunk. Fun City.

Thursday, that dear Daddy of Declan's was off work for the first time in about a month and a half. He got to go for a nice long run and when Daddy gets to run, the whole house hums with happiness! After Daddy had a shower, we packed the car and headed on out to get our thankful turkey party started! We dropped off a cake at the big house only to find that Uncle Micah had purchased a silver Vespa. We left and headed up to Kingsport for the Durnin family Thanksgiving. As you can see, Declan...

was the center of attention!

We also were lucky enough to visit with Ben's sweet Aunt Sabra and Uncle John. Cousin Laura and Cousin Heath were there too. They had their Christmas tree up and Declan just LOVED watching the lights. It was so very sweet.

Friday was an entire day of Man-Time with Daddy while I participated in a long-standing McDonald female tradition of shopping and lunch with my Mama (Gramma) and my aunt Barbara (the grand Barb!) Cousin Reece and her dear mother-in-law, Debbie (Aunt Nana!)... Did I mention that lunch includes wine? Very well, then.

Saturday was super fun! Declan got to meet his Nashville cousins at the England Family Thanksgiving. It was so sweet to see Paige and Preston play with Declan. Nan and Bop-Bop were impressed with Declan's heft and also all of his England charm! Declan was impressed with Nan's ability to snuggle and sway at the same time!

Sunday was "Festive Christmas Family Picture" day at the big house with Gramma, Granddaddy, Jamesy, Micah and us. The following photo best exemplifies the chaos of Thanksgiving this year...

And this next one is how Declan feels about his routine being messed with since Tuesday...

This would be a pouty frown. Sad day!

Monday morning found Daddy with a very painful back, Mama with a sinus infection and Declan unafraid of vocalizing his displeasure about being slighted out of all those naps! Whew!

I hate to break it to him but the next few weeks will find Declan's cheese DEFINITELY moved.

That's all for now!