Archive for the ‘Julie’ Category

Catching Up   1 comment

Another long hiatus between blog entries. I know, I know. I’m the WORST and you, my loyal blog-reader, were beginning to lose hope that you would not get to hear about the latest happenings in the lives of the most boring family ever. Well, never fear! I’m back and it’s time to catch up:

  • Just before Thanksgiving, Nate, Millie and I went to lovely Arizona to visit my sister, her husband, and their new baby boy. The trip didn’t start out great. Our flight was delayed so, instead of arriving in Phoenix at 9:30 pm local time, we arrived at 12:47 am (to us, it felt like almost 3 am!!). Millie was EXHAUSTED and it was hard to get her to settle down to sleep in a strange place at such an ungodly hour. I ended up sleeping with her on the floor of Matteo’s room (Cousin Matteo graciously let Millie borrow his room while we were in town). Once Millie caught up on some sleep, the rest of the week was perfect. The weather was gorgeous and we got to spend a lot of time holding Matteo and visiting with Jen and eating ridiculous amounts of delicious food. It was my kind of vacation.


  • We spent Thanksgiving with Nate’s family. Millie got to spend lots of time with her grandparents, aunts and uncles (partly because she refused to nap while we were away from home) and, even though she wasn’t a big fan of turkey, I think she enjoyed the feast. Her favorite part of the day? Walking from the dining room to the sun room- there is a little step and she loved going up and down over and over again. She’s pretty easy to entertain.
  • December 1st was our 5th wedding anniversary! We originally had BIG plans for the day, but we ended up having a low-key celebration instead. We went to my aunt and uncle’s house first to see Santa. Every year, my aunt and uncle host a meet and greet with Santa— he lands in a helicopter on their property and all of the kids get to meet him and share their wish lists! This was our first time attending and it was a blast. The weather was great, Millie loved watching the helicopter land, and she wasn’t intimidated by Santa at all!








  • After meeting Santa, my mom watched Millie while Nate and I went out just the 2 of us. We had lunch, went to Half Price Books, and a pet store (I have it in my head that I want another dog… I won’t discuss it further here, that deserves its own blog post…) before heading back to get Millie. She didn’t miss us at all! She had a blast playing with Grandma Diane! Millie was worn out when we got back home so we put her to bed, but she woke up a few hour later and was really sick (as in, vomit-in- the-crib sick). The next several days were spent taking care of a very sick, lethargic, nearly dehydrated little girl. It was no fun, but, thankfully, Millie is now back to normal.

Well, there you have it— you’re pretty much all caught up. Wasn’t my re-cap just thrilling? I know what you’re thinking… Arizona? Thanksgiving? Santa in a helicopter? You Keyses don’t seem boring at all! Well, thank you for thinking that. I mean, sure, we’re typically home every evening by 7pm so Millie can go to bed, and, sure, I’m usually in bed myself by 9:30, but all day before that we’re off doing fun things like singing “Jingle Bells” in the car just to keep Millie from crying and asking her “did you poop or just fart?” (sometimes the answer is surprising). Some may call it boring, but, truth be known, most of the time we’re having a blast.



Posted December 8, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie, Nathaniel

Baby Julie and Baby Millie   4 comments

Remember this post from January 2011?

I spent a lot of time during my pregnancy wondering who Millie would look like. Then, Millie arrived and, those who knew Nathaniel as an infant swear that she is the spitting image of him as a baby while my family and friends insist she looks just like me. A couple of weeks ago, my mom came to visit and brought with her some baby pictures of me (and Jennifer, of course). So, I decided to compare a few with pictures of Millie:


Julie’s first steps (14 months old)


Millie’s first steps (14 months old)


Julie, probably around 14 months old

Millie, 12 months old

Check out Jennifer’s cheesy grin (Christmas 1984)

Millie’s cheesy grin

Ok, ok… just one more pair…

It’s official, people! Millie looks like her Mama (and Aunt!). Millie, since it appears you do/will resemble me physically, I would like to warn you. FIFTH GRADE IS GOING TO BE THE START OF ONE HECK OF AN AWKWARD PERIOD. Never fear, Millie Lou. I am here for you. I have gone before you and I (unlike my own mother) will not let you choose GIANT purple glasses to correct your failing eyesight. Nor will I allow you to wear a turtleneck under a flannel shirt over stirrup pants. One final warning: Your teeth are going to be huge. Eventually you will grow into them… or maybe you’ll just get used to them. The bottom line is this: Daddy and I love you lots and we’ll be there to capture every awkward moment of your adolescence… and then I’m going to blog about it. You have been warned.

Posted August 15, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie

“AJER!”   2 comments

Millie has loved Major Tom, our Yorkie Bichon mix, since the first day she noticed him. She used to just be content to watch him, but now she is only content when sitting right next to him, petting him, or sharing his chew toys. Best buds, I tell ya! Millie also has started calling him by name. Well, to be more accurate, she has started yelling his name. Like Millie, Major Tom has a lot of nicknames: Maj, Maj-maj, Major-maj, Tom, Maj-tom, Tom-tom, Major T, Ground-Control-to-Major-Tom… yeah, we like nicknames at our house. Anyway, pretty much the only time I use Major’s full name is when I am yelling at him, which is daily, at least. Major likes to look out the window and bark at any passerby, which prompts me yelling “MAJOR!!” The other day, Millie echoed right after me “AJER!” IT WAS SO CUTE. A day or two after this happened, things got even cuter when Millie yelled “AJER!” when Major Tom barked without anyone else yelling first. ADORABLE, right?? Is anyone else understanding the level of cuteness I am describing??!!

Major Tom gets bad rap (mainly from me). He has poor manners, likes to “punishment pee” in the kitchen if we do something he doesn’t like, and, frankly, he smells like a dog. But, I must admit, the little guy is pretty adorable. He has been great with Millie. She is not very gentle with him- her pets are more like slaps and she likes to pull his beard hair, but he has only ever been sweet with her. He has never snapped at her, but rather he shares with her and is very patient. What more can I ask for from the family dog? Major turns 4 years old on July 5th, and I want to wish a very happy birthday to my sweet, stinky dog-son. Nate, Millie and I love you very much!

Posted July 3, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Major Tom, Millie, Nathaniel

What A Week   2 comments

This week was one of those weeks. You know what I’m talking about… work was stressful, the house was in a constant state of disarray, there was never enough time in the day… oh yeah, and I got rear-ended on the way to work on Tuesday morning.

Thankfully, aside from a little residual soreness, no one was hurt and, best of all, one of Cincinnati’s finest witnessed the collision. This was the first accident I have ever been involved in (and I hope my last) and I feel like I have taken on a part-time job dealing with the claim process. So far, the damage is assessed at $1496.06, but that’s just based on the visible damage. The estimator said there is additional damage that will be noted when the car is “torn down”.  I hope that everything is fixed quickly and that I will soon be back on the road in my good old Saturn.

In other news, Millie Louise turned 14 months old on Friday! Nate and I have really noticed a huge change in her over this past month. She took her first steps, jabbers all the time, and looks less like a baby and more like a little girl. Since her first few steps, Millie has decided she still prefers to crawl, but the little stinker can walk. She has developed a bit of separation anxiety this month (she cries for a while when we leave her in the church nursery) and even cried once when Nate left her at Janette’s (our sitter). She is starting to get picky about her food— she loves hot dogs, but doesn’t like veggies. She likes milk (it took a while for her to get used to it) and, when she tastes something she likes, she says “mmmmmmm!” She LOVES to play with Major, look at baby pictures of herself, and read books. She is a joy to be around and I’m so thankful to have her to come home to after a stressful day at work.

Posted June 30, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie

I keep forgetting I have a blog   2 comments

When Nate and I started this blog, we imagined weekly posts full of charming anecdotes and witty humor. I really thought once weekly posts would be do-able- I mean, I would probably have to narrow down topics each week since Millie would be so entertaining and full of blog-worthy material. Well, a year and a half later, I am a blog failure. Sometimes I forget that we even have a blog! Thankfully for my 3 readers, my lovely sister Jennifer gently reminded me that it has been a while since my last post. Thanks, Jen!

So, time to fill you all in on life. We’ve actually been pretty busy at the Keyse house. Nate is taking a summer class, the first course of his Master’s degree program. He’s taking Basic Counseling Theories and Methods as an online course and it’s been a nice way for him to ease back into “student mode”. This Fall he will take 3 classes while continuing to work full-time. It’s going to be a crazy few years, but we’re excited to see what God has in store for him in a future career as a counselor. I (Julie) am excited to report that I passed my second underwriting exam (there are four total) and I am looking forward to new challenges at work. The financial group that I work for has three different life insurance companies and I recently accepted an offer for an underwriting position with one of the other companies. This will allow me to underwrite an entirely different market and enhance my experience for future endeavors. And, now, let me fill you in on the most interesting Keyse of all— Millie. The girl is BUSY. She is constantly on the move. She’s not walking on her own yet, but walks along all of the furniture and crawls very fast whenever she “runs out” of couch. Her favorite activities? Throwing toys in and out of her crib.

Crawling as fast as she can while she explores the house…

And laughing at her parents. She pretty much thinks we’re the funniest people EVER. Having a baby is so good for one’s ego.

Millie was fussing in the car the other day (she’s not a huge fan of the car) and so I started singing a song, making it up as I went along. I made Nate join in, mainly because I like to make him do stupid stuff, and Millie LOVED it. The lyrics include the phrase “Millie is a princess, Millie Louise” and she would crack up whenever she heard her name. I couldn’t see her very well, but I’m pretty sure she was swaying and dancing as much as she could in her car seat. The kid loves to dance. And we love to watch her.

We are getting ready for a visit from Jennifer and Tony, so I am sure that next week I will have a great post, full of pictures and stories, but for now, I must sign off. Not because I don’t have anything else to say, but because Millie is a wild woman and I want to go play with her. Seriously, I can’t get enough of this little face!


Posted June 13, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie, Nathaniel

Saturday Mornings   1 comment

Sorry about the recent posts with NO pictures. Nate and I cleaned our house recently and put the charger for our camera battery in a place where we would be sure to find it. Too bad we can’t remember where that is… I have plans to turn my house upside down today searching for it, but until then, you are stuck  with just my word-y post.

Every other Saturday morning, Nate has his men’s Bible study so Millie and I get a little girl-time together. We miss Nate, of course, but these mornings are precious to me. I get Millie up and feed her and then we play. Sometimes she plays and I straighten up or she plays and I blog (like now), but most of the time, we are both sitting on the floor just playing. This won’t be a long post, because I want to get back to the fun stuff, but I just had to document what this special time means to me.

9-month-old Millie is VERY curious. She loves picking up a toy, examining it, and then either throwing it to the side or playing with it for a bit. Her favorite toys either light up or play music (music > lights). We spend a lot of time playing with the music toys. She bobs up and down with the beat of the song while I sing (to the tune of Yankee Doodle: “My first laptop is so fun/ it’s made just for me/ learning all about my home/ come along and see!”). She loves this time and so do I.

When we’re not singing and dancing, Millie is crawling everywhere! We have to block off the exit to the living room just to keep her contained in one room, but even then we have to keep a close watch on this girl. She loves to crawl to the front door and sit in front of it (trying to escape her crazy, singing mother perhaps?). She also loves to tug on power cords and pull CD cases off the entertainment center. These 2 activities have resulted in the first cries of “no-no!” from Nate and I. She hears us, turns sweetly, gives us a BIG smile (4 teeth now… so cute!) and then gets right back to whatever she’s not supposed to be doing. I see inevitable time-outs in our future…

Millie is working toward her next big milestone by trying to pull up into a standing position. She gets up into a kneeling position in front of the couch and  tries to stand. She has not been able to do it unassisted yet, but it’s only a matter of time. As I typed those last words, she crawled over to me and tried to pull up on my legs… Millie noticed that I am using the lap top (another favorite toy of hers) and wanted to get up on the couch so she can type! I’m going to take that as a sign that I need to get back to my girl. I have more to talk about… I trimmed her hair for the first time (no more mullet), our new babysitter is working out wonderfully, I have already started thinking about her first birthday party… but all that will have to wait for now! I find myself overwhelmed with how thankful I am for Millie Louise and for all the joy she has brought to Nate and me. This time last year I was so excited to meet my baby and now I’m “living the dream.”

Posted February 18, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie

Santa’s Not Coming to Town   9 comments

While out doing some Christmas shopping today, I ran into a co-worker of mine. We chatted for a bit, I introduced her to Millie and then she asked “Has Millie seen Santa yet?” Nope, not yet. I know we’re well into the Christmas season, but I just haven’t had a chance to stand in an absurdly long line so that I can give my 7 month old to a strange fat man all dressed in red for an overpriced picture. The truth is, I am not planning on taking Millie to see Santa because Nate and I are not going to do the whole Santa thing with Millie. I know. Gasp! Shock! Dismay! Please, before you call CPS (Child Protective Services), hear me out.

Nate and I do not think there is anything inherently evil about telling a child that there is a Santa. We both were raised to believe in Santa and it did absolutely no harm to us. However, there are a few reasons we are choosing NOT to promote a belief in Santa to Millie. Most importantly, we want Millie to know the reason for the season. I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe that thousands of years ago, in a town called Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to God’s son. I believe that Christmas is a wonderful time full of hope and love because of the hope and love that existed the very first Christmas. I want Millie to know that THIS is the reason we celebrate December 25th. Also, we want to carefully encourage Millie’s faith. Nate and I will be teaching Millie that God is real. We will tell her that God is watching her, that God wants her to be a good girl and listen to her parents, and that God is powerful. We will be asking her to believe in someone who she cannot see. This is similar to what some parents tell their children about Santa— they might say that Santa is watching them, that Santa wants them to be good and listen to their parents, and that Santa is magical. The difference? In the second circumstance, the parents are asking their child to have faith in something that they know is not true. I have committed to never asking Millie to believe in something if I don’t believe it in. I NEVER want Millie to think “Mom told me that Santa was real and he isn’t— maybe Jesus isn’t real either!” Faith can be a difficult thing. I don’t want to make it more difficult for my daughter by encouraging her faith in a myth.

That being said, Nate and I will explain who the Santa-character is to our daughter. We will explain that centuries ago a wonderful man known as Saint Nicholas secretly gave gifts to the people of his town. As word of his giving reached more and more people, they began to give gifts to others. We will tell Millie that it is in the tradition of St. Nicholas that some people “play” Santa and give gifts from Santa to their children on Christmas morning. We also want to teach Millie to be sensitive to the beliefs of others. We will carefully explain that there are some children who believe that Santa Claus is real and that it is important to respect that belief even when  we disagree.

In our home, we will still watch Christmas movies with Millie— movies like Elf, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and The Santa Clause— and I am confident that she will still be able to enjoy the fun of Santa without having a belief in Santa. We won’t leave cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, but we will still make Christmas cookies. Millie won’t run to her stocking on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought, but I bet she will still run to her stocking.

Nate and I are not going to do the whole Santa thing with Millie. Instead we are going to focus on Christmas as the celebration of the birth of Christ. Still, maybe I should take Millie to get her picture taken with Santa just for fun. I would love one like this…


Posted December 11, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie, Photography