Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Carissa was helping me peel carrots for our New Year's Eve traditional cabbage and carrots soup. I did most of the peeling.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ugly Sweater

We're getting ready for an Ugly Christmas Sweater party this weekend with Christina's family, with a contest for the ugliest. Carissa is not very excited about it. You could say she's a *bit* upset. We are going totally going to win :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Smile

We got Carissa a kitchen set for Christmas. She absolutely loves it, as evidenced by the smile. Already tonight, she "cooked" something and then had me feed her baby doll. Yum!

Splash Time

Carissa loves bath time, can't you tell?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Carissa sang Little Bunny Foo Foo with Christina tonight after she opened the rest of her gifts from us.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ayres Family 2009

This is our Ayres family photo for the year. You'll notice Carissa is holding the remote, so she gets photographic credit. We've been having a great time hanging out with the family getting ready for Grant and Ashley's wedding tomorrow.

Friday, December 25, 2009

There's A Hitchin' This Weekend

We're up in Jefferson City this weekend getting ready for my brother's wedding. This is his lovely, soon-to-be wife, Ashley. We are excited to have her join the family. Carissa is also the flower girl so there will be plenty more pictures to come from the weekend.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

This is Carissa with two of her gifts. The stroller is really for the doll but she thought she needed to sit in it too. It's not broken yet...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top 8 Albums of the Decade

First of all, sorry for the random post here. I realize this has nothing to do with Carissa or our family even. But enjoy my top picks for the decade anyways :)

Some of links are to iTunes. Download it here.

8. Jose Gonzalez, In Our Nature (2007)

This Swede knows how to strum some good tunes on his classical guitar. Nuf said.

In Our Nature, on LaLa.

7. Iron and Wine, The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002)

Sam Beam is awesome. I enjoy this album a bit more than his others because he sticks with his voice and guitar only.

Lion's Mane, on LaLa.

6. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)

Pronounced bone ee-vair, Bon Iver is one of the best singer/songwriters of the decade. Justin Vernon shut himself off in the winter woods of Wisconsin and emerged with this album.

Skinny Love, on LaLa.

5. Death Cab For Cutie, Plans (2005)

I heard lead singer Ben Gibbard's work first in The Postal Service. His vocals are easy to fall in love with.

What Sarah Said, on LaLa.

4. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

As someone else has already said, "Parts of this innovative work sound as though Radiohead broke into the studio and jacked with the tracks." And oh, how amazingly jacked up they are.

Heavy Metal Drummer, on LaLa.

3. Imogen Heap, Speak For Yourself (2005)

I was introduced to Imogen Heap from the show So You Think You Can Dance. My wife loves this stuff. The music is heavily produced, yet so creative.

Hide and Seek, on LaLa.

2. The Postal Service, Give Up (2003)

This is a mash-up of Death Cab for Cutie lead singer, Ben Gibbard, and producer Jimmy Tamborello. Another electronica band that has more loops than Velcro.

Such Great Heights, on LaLa.

1. Underoath, They're Only Chasing Safety (2004)

This album changed music for me. While I love how Underoath has refined their sound since this album (check out Define the Great Line), this was the height of the decade for me. It is the perfect blend of high, soaring vocals from drummer, Aaron Gillespie, and harsh, scream vocals from lead vocalist, Spencer Chamberlain. For more of Aaron's vocals, check out his side project The Almost.

A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White, on LaLa.

And, as part of my commitment to full disclosure, I will state that over the past year, Owl City, Ocean Eyes, is the most played album for me. Not sure what that says about me, but transparency is king.

Monday, December 21, 2009


This is Granny, Carissa's great-grandmother, and Christina's maternal grandmother. She was so excited when Carissa was born. She drove down the next day (Carissa was born around 7pm) to see her in the hospital in this picture.

She passed away this past Saturday after a rather unexpected heart attack. Some of you knew and have been praying for us and Christina's family. We appreciate that so much. It has made the holidays interesting, but we're spending it with more family that we ever would have planned which is really special.

She was a pretty cool lady. You always knew what Granny thought. She was very proud of her family, especially the great-grand kids (she has nine). She survived breast cancer. But, most of all, she loved God and her church family.

The Herd

The horses were running around yesterday. It is something to see the herd move back and forth together like a flock of birds.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Young Photog

I had the camera set up on a tripod last night and gave Carissa the remote. She took over 80 pictures in 5 minutes. Here's a time-lapse of the photos. Enjoy!

First Snow

We had our first snow last night. It wasn't much at all. Some of you northerners may laugh at the fact I'm even calling it snow. If you can't tell in the photo there really is a light dusting :)

Carissa just had to go outside today, even though it's 26F or so.

Also, note the bruise on her forehead. She head butted the corner of the desk at work and lost. No blood, just a bruise. Hopefully, it's gone by my brother's wedding next weekend. Flower girls shouldn't have bruised foreheads.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Welch is Coming Out

In case you haven't seen it before, that is what I like to call a "Welch tongue". It comes out when a Welch is thinking or working hard at something. I've seen Christina do it and I've seen her dad do it. Carissa's last name may be Ayres, but there is Welch blood in her for sure :)

This photo was from earlier this week, on a windy but much warmer day than today.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

4 Years Ago Today

This was us four years ago today. We're a bit different from ourselves then. Which is good. I actually might be skinnier, but that's not a good thing. No one wants to stay the same. We should all have the expectation that we would be changing, specifically becoming more like who Jesus intends us to be.

I'm so proud of how Christina and I have grown and changed over the past several years. I truly love her even more each day we're together. And I know that God has even greater things planned for us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby's First Boo Boo

Carissa hurt her finger falling today. It's her first boo boo and first band aid.

*I should add that she made it until 18 months before she broke skin. That's pretty good, right?*

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We've Got A Mechanic

My chair was getting a little loose so I was tightening up the screws. Carissa wanted to help.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Never Too Big

Carissa is having a blast in the exersaucer at church. She doesn't fit real well but that doesn't matter to her.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Office Fun

Carissa was "loving" on me at the office yesterday. Our childrens director caught it on camera.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Best of 2009

So here at the end of the year, I've decided this is my favorite shot from 2009. We took a bunch of shots of Carissa in her princess dress in order to put a few on her first birthday party invitation.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Play Tent

Carissa found a book light to play with in her tent at Grandma and Grandpa Ayres'.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Patient Dog

Tillie has been given the gift of patience from God. That may seem weird but there is no other way to explain how she can be so sweet with Carissa and have her tail pulled. She still waits for Carissa to throw the ball even though it is only thrown a few feet. Carissa is learning to treat Tillie with kindness but Tillie is being so patient with with the process.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dog Handler

This is Carissa's mean face. Also notice the perfectly pointed finger. These are the makings of a great dog handler.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chef Carissa

Christina found her cooking toys from when she was little. We, well, really just Christina, cleaned them up and set them out for Carissa tonight. She first had to organize her pans.


Then she cooked up something for Mr. Bear.


And finally, we presented mom with the finished dish.


It was a great time. And two hours and a bath later, she's still playing with them.

By the way, this is post 300 for I'll put on my party hat tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Frost Flowers

This morning we woke up to some frost flowers. It is a lovely part of nature we get to experience in the late fall. It happens when the ground is not yet frozen but the air temperature is below freezing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taking Care Of Baby

Carissa loves playing with her baby doll. She always wraps her up and gives her a hug.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

goodbye shoes

I bought these shoes at least four years ago. I wore them everyday up until earlier this year. If I've seen you in the past four years, you've probably seen them yourself.

I had to throw them away tonight. I've worn the soles so uneven that if I wear them now, my feet hurt. And I wore them today. I can't seem to stop. So I'm throwing them away.

So tonight I raise my make believe glass to my most favorite shoes of my entire life. *tear*

Alright, I'm kidding about about the *tear*.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Animal Sounds

We recorded Carissa in the car this morning. She has such a great time riding to Rolla each morning.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Carissa loves playing with Sunny, the stallion up at Christina's parents house. He is so gentle with her. She will run over to the fence and call him. She tries to feed him grass (I pulled some once to feed him and now she always tries to do the same).

Friday, November 13, 2009


Carissa took a late nap today and woke up just before sunset, just enough time to get back outside to enjoy some cool air and play with the dog. She is trying to say "Tillie" in the photo.

Monday, November 9, 2009

StL Zoo in November

We went to St. Louis this past Saturday for a wedding. There were several hours to pass by in between the ceremony and the reception. With the weather being so nice and warm in November we decided to hit up the zoo. It was pretty busy, but not as busy as a summer weekend.

Carissa enjoyed the trip but this was a rather serious face for the afternoon.

Being November and all, the sun was setting while we were still at the zoo. The animals were bathed in the most beautiful light.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I've found that Carissa has a super power. I chased her around outside for about 30 minutes just for this shot (and a few more like it here). I will do just about anything to get a smile. They just melt my heart.

Monday, November 2, 2009


We went outside tonight to get some more pictures in the bumblebee costume and enjoy the leaves. There's also some more here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Morning Holloween Fun

Carissa's having a great time this morning helping us around the house. She's loving her pumpkin shoes and shirt (the ghost lights up when she moves).

Little Bumblebee

We had our LifeGroup Halloween Party last night. It was so much fun. The kids were so funny running around in their costumes.

See more photos here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Funny Faces

Carissa has a fun approach to life. Blow raspberries all day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

American Royal Pro Rodeo

We had a great time at the rodeo. I tried taking a bunch of photos but only a few turned out well. At least the horse's behind is in focus in this one.

Here's to me buying a better lens in the near future:) This one would do nice.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend in KC

We spent this last weekend in KC with my brother-in-law's family. Saturday morning we went to the Deanna Rose Farm in Overland Park. Carissa had a great time. She loved all the animals and was ready to have them all in her lap, like the cow above :)

That night we went to the rodeo at the American Royal. Barrel racing was Carissa's biggest interest. She was curious where the ladies were coming from and going to after racing around the barrels (they were entering and exiting beneath the stands).

See more photos on flickr.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Green Lake, WI

This week I'm up in Green Lake, WI at the Vineyard Midwest Regional Pastors Retreat. It is always beautiful this time of year. It has been a great time to relax and catch up with friends, but I can not wait to get back to my baby girl.

This is a photo that Christina sent me of Carissa keeping herself busy while at the doctor's office for her 15-month check-up. She has gotten very good at using her fingers and loves playing with small things, like little post-it notes. She apparently put on quite the show telling the doctor all the words and signs she knows.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Working on the House

We spent the weekend working on the house with Christina's parents and her brother. We're getting the siding put up now and the house is really starting to come together.

Carissa spent most of the weekend inside playing with her cousins. They pulled out the Nintendo that belonged to Christina's brother when he was little. Carissa had a good time trying to play too.

I noticed that we had a friend hiding up in the tree in our front yard. He was peacefully snoozing all day while we worked.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Hat

Carissa got a new hat this week to match a coat we bought last year on clearence. As you can see, she loves it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monkeying Around

Today we had a family get-together (family reunion has too much baggage). It was a bit cool out but the sun was nice. Carissa a great fun with some of the other little kids. I won't even begin to describe how Carissa is related to the other girl, but she is, however distant. They were having a fun time playing chase.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wind Blown

This is from last week...when it was still warm out. The fall season is here for sure. Low of 35 degrees the next few nights.

Carissa's hair is getting longer but it's so fine the wind catches it easily.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend with Family

We spent the weekend working on the house outside. It was pretty cool so Carissa was all bundled up.

Carissa also had her cousins down this weekend and got to spend sometime with Mimi and Jaxin outside.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Something New

We're trying something new in the Ayres household. A potty chair. Carissa has been very curious about Christina and me using the restroom so we're going with it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Carissa in the Office

This is how Carissa spends parts of her days in the office. She loves Pastor Matt.

Playing in the Sand

The weather today is quite cooler than it was on Saturday. We've made Carissa a little sand box and she has enjoyed it.