Friday, December 30, 2011

Rice cereal!

I love this video.

So happy together

Relaxing in the armchair

Riding in the cart at Target (just for a sec. Yes Mom I know this is not safe! ; ) )

Goofing off with Mama

Watching Sean the Sheep with Daddy (Angela, Ella is totally addicted to "baa baa" now!)

Sunglasses II

Cooler than cool this time.

The look of ennui perfected.

Babies are stinkin' cute.

Ok folks, prepare for some rapid fire posting here tonight. If I squeeze a bunch in this evening I will have still kept my december quota up, and that seems like a good way to go out for 2011.

This first one is short but sweet. It will also test my new computer's oft-touted high speed. Or maybe just our wireless speed. Anyway, let's see how fast I can upload a video now. . .

Here are some darling baby antics. Enjoy.

Hmp. Pretty fast I guess. : )

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas present

Hey hey hey! Guess what Santa Paul brought me for Christmas this year? A shiny new computadora! Woo! I am just playing around with it tonight but really really soon I will be able to post some of the jillions of pictures I have been saving up over the last few weeks. We had a lovely Christmas at my family's house in Florida, and now we are enjoying Paul's family here in Durham. Among the many new words Ella has picked up lately is an important one, "people." I'll tell ya more about it soon, but before I get down to the nitty gritty of getting my photos on here I have to tend to the important task of selecting a desktop theme, etc. : ) Let's talk soon!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Technical difficulties

Hi guys! Sorry I am MIA lately. Computer is down and out. I am doing this post from Paul's computer and I can't figure out how to get my photos from my camera to his funky mac. Don't judge. But that is what's going on. Get excited for some photos of Nora's first taste of rice cereal (yuck!), sisters snuggling, Ella in sunglasses, and probably more fun things I can't remember I took pictures of. We'll be back soon!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Tea time

Would you like to have tea with us?

Our tea was technically soup or "food" according to Ella. Can you hear her saying it in the video?

Monday, November 28, 2011


I am very thankful to the calendar this year for giving me a few days even in the week after Thanksgiving where it is still November and I am not late for Christmas yet. Not saying I won't be late soon enough. But at least the pressure is sort of off for this minute. It is so hard to get anything at all done around here these days, down to even meals and baths for everyone! Tonight I read a beautiful magazine with all these lovely Christmas decorations and ideas for hosting parties and instituting meaningful family traditions. But most of the families featured had kids in college, I noticed. I bet those kids do their own baths. I am going to try this year to enjoy the season, but I think like last year, and even more so now that we are blessed with these two tiny daughters, I am going to ride on everybody else's coattails for all the logistics of the celebration. If you're planning something fun and festive that you are going to invite the McCalls to, we really appreciate it!

All that said, we had a wonderful wonderful time with Paul's family at Thanksgiving. (And rode on their coattails too, believe me! Thanks guys!) It was so fun to see Ella being able to really enjoy her cousins. And since Nora has a little cousin who was  born just 2 days before she was, I think she really enjoyed at least that little cousin too. We adults also enjoyed each other's company and taking in the steady buzz of commotion that 6 kids aged 5 and under produce. My sister-in-law made a beautiful Thanksgiving tree for us all to count our blessings on, and it was so nice to be prompted to do that again! My Ann Voskamp inspired gratitude journal has been languishing in all of our family craziness lately, but I love that discipline. There is so much to be thankful for! (By the way, my sister-in-law is responsible for 4 of the 6 kids, one of whom is as little as Nora, as I previously mentioned, and she put together the Thanksgiving tree. I guess I have to own that I am a slacker. : ))

Here are some photos from our time in Houston.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This is another post that falls under the "best of the last month" category.

Both Paul's mom and my mom have recently come to spend some time with us and help us settle in. Can I  just tell you how wonderful it was? I am SO blessed to take care of my little daughters. But they absolutely require two (or more) hands to keep them safe and happy. That normally leaves me with zero (or less) hands to work on unpacking and cleaning and cooking, etc. But thanks to the help of my mother and my Belle Mere, I have had some spurts of productivity over a few days where the work accomplished otherwise would have taken weeks to do. Also, Ella and Nora got some sweet grandmotherly love that we just don't get to experience in person enough around here. Thanks so much ladies! We love you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nora's latest trick

Fart noises:

Untitled from Emily McCall on Vimeo.

She has seriously been doing this all afternoon. Daddy will be so impressed when he gets home. ; )

Livin' in the city

Well the dust is settling (and then being obsessively wiped up by me) a little at our house. And the more that happens, the more I remember why we were so excited to get in here. It is really fun to live in the city! We have a fantastic park just a few houses down the street, and I am starting to make some forays out with the stroller into our walkable part of town. So far I have made it to the shopping center with Whole Foods and Mad Hatters (our Saturday morning breakfast spot for years), the place where Ella has her parent's morning out, a new favorite Mexican restaurant, and Brightleaf Square (where I found even more cute little boutiques than I was previously aware of). Cool! Here we are headed out to said Mexican Restaurant.

Also, an ice cream truck makes the rounds daily! We haven't actually bought anything yet for reasons mentioned in the previous post. ; ) But I love hearing the music (and feeling the remembrance of absolute panic that I wouldn't find mom and get money in time, from when I was little). It really takes me back.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Here is one of those best of the last month posts I was telling you to expect.

One day in the midst of all the craziness, we were just falling apart in the afternoon. And it was raining, of course. So I did the only thing I could think of: take the girls out for a milkshake. This was frequently all I could think of to do in the afternoons for a while after Nora was born. After Ella's birth the weight just fell off of me from nursing, so I thought, hey, now is the time to drink milkshakes. Lots of milkshakes. I mean, they even have calcium, right? Turns out enough milkshakes (like 3-4 a week ; ) ) can sabotage even the breasfeeding weight loss effect. I think of other things besides milkshakes in the afternoons now. But those milkshakes we all enjoyed were just delicious, even beyond the way they tasted. Come along with us as we sip in our car, serenaded by classic rock.  

Our frowns were all turned upside down after our treat and Ella learned a new word, "Shakeshake," which I contend is a very important word to know.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Where we're at

Any English majors out there cringing at my title? Hope not. I prefer to write the way most people speak and sometimes feel like good grammar can be pretentious. (The place at which we are? Come on.) Why am I picking fights with my grammatical friends on a Sunday morning? No idea. This, dear readers, is what we call a tangent. : )

Anyway, we are at the point with the house that I sort of forgot would come, but should have expected if I had thought about it, where the projects are mostly done, but things still look a wreck because my unpacking pace is about one box per day (on a good day) with my two little angels. We are in the "already-not yet" of moving. : ) I guess we are technically in after territory, but it doesn't totally look like it. It's not all decorated and pretty. But I am going to follow a major hospitality rule and just have you over because I like you and want to spend time together, not with the goal of showing you a perfect house.

So here you go, welcome to our new place!

 what's important is what's not here: the giant mural is a thing of the past!

 bathroom complete with mirror and piles of clothes on the counter

 cleaning supplies are in place

kitchen would be totally functional if we could just find the toaster oven!

 another mural erased

front room with no trace of burst pipe

 living room bare, but already hosting playtime

what a pair of cuties!

So there you go. This is how it's looking for the McCall family today. And tomorrow I have huge pile of boxes waiting for me to unpack that are newly arrived from the storage unit. I have to keep reminding myself that although we are going slowly, we are going and getting closer to settled all the time. I'll keep you posted and if I ever get everything all clean and cute I'll show you that too. : )

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Excuses, excuses

Ummm, hi.

Long time no see, eh?

There are several reasons for that. The two biggest ones are 4 months old (today!) and 19 months old. But also, moving into this house has been a little busy.

Another reason is that I've been needing to let you know about our little family tragedy that happened the night after my last post. Lucie died that Saturday, completely unexpectedly, and there is no way to blog about that sadness. But now you know and can understand why she is missing in our story from here on out.

A fourth (fifth?) reason is that I seem to have misplaced the camera cord. Doh! Anybody seen it? Also let me know if you find the nuts and bolts for Ella's crib. Those would be great to locate as well.

We have been having all sorts of cuteness and little milestones and bits of progress on getting settled, but unfortunately you guys may have to settle for a few best of the last month posts. We'll try to get back in a blogging rhythm here soon. And yes, I will up up house pictures soon too, promise! (Thanks for the little kick, Lauren! ; ) )

Sighhhh, it's nice to be back, little bloggie. Sorry for leaving you alone so long.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Look who's blogging at 11:00 at night! Normally, brain has totally turned off by now, but tonight I am so excited! We just got home from visiting the new house in its alllllllmost "after" state. Oooh boy am I excited to get in there! It is so pretty and so much more house than I thought I would ever wind up with! Is four exclamation points too many for one paragraph? Oh well, I am gushing! Make that 6!

Here are some photos I snapped. Yes, the continual refrain, there is still much to be done, but the house is now looking better than I've ever seen it.

This last picture of the dining room kinda makes it look like our house is in Wonderland, with the tiny table, crazy mural, and irregular checkerboard floor in the closet . . . like I said, still some things to do. But next on the agenda is moving in!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


At the park near the new house. We are so close to living there we can taste it!

This morning we went over to meet with our contractor to talk about the last few (many) things to be done today and tomorrow. Tomorrow night, we are in! At least, allowed in. We will move this weekend. Whoopee!

There was just a flurry of activity there today. Probably 10 people working hard for us. So exciting. There will be some genuine "after" pictures coming down the pike before long.

Our local kids museum?

We dig it!

(Locals, be sure you know that the Museum of Life and Science is free for Durham County residents on Wednesday afternoons. Woo! Get diggin'!)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Getting close!

After our big adventure in Florida, the girls (including awesome Aunt Megan), headed back up to NC, where lots of good workers were scurrying along to finish what needs to be done on our house. Awesome Uncle David joined them and Paul to build the kitchen cabinets. We are so thankful for all the help we are getting from friends and family right now. We are in a slightly tough situation. However, it is entirely of our own making, not like someone is sick or something. (Please God can you keep us healthy for now, by the way!) But still folks have been so wonderful and willing to give us a shoulder to lean on. Thanks everyone. Really. It would  be such a treat to get to return the favors sometime too. But for now we will just do our best to receive grace well and allow others the joy of lending it.

Here is where we were as of Monday at the house:

 Aren't the floors beautiful? And with the cabinets up, you can see the skeleton of a kitchen in there right?

 More lovely floors

 Drywall! (and ladders, lots of ladders, see below. : ) )

 Penny tile, which I like even more in real life than in the magazines, it turns out.

And here is where we are today, it still looks more like a construction site than a home, but we are getting some serious progress.

 Look, it's a bathroom now!

Kitchen now includes faucet and dishwasher

 Drywall primed . . . I love white. Prepare for more white. Also notice the absence of ladders in all pictures.

We are getting really excited!

And here are some cute sisters goofing off just to round out the post: