Happy Birthday, New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.

Well hello again.

I’ll just jump right in.

You may ask yourself, “What have the Butays been up to for the last seven months?” If you don’t, then this is going to be really, really boring, so you could watch this controversial video instead. If you do ask yourself that question, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s tackle this systematically. Month by month.

Twas May when we last blogged, so on to June!

June:

June was pretty low key. It did include my first Father’s Day:

Father's day

Look at how small he is. That picture was taken after church where I had just won the Youngest Father award. The prize was an Outback gift card which later went to good use to purchase a Bloomin’ Onion. That actually turned out to be a decidedly poor use, because Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion is 90% grease and 10% ranch. To be fair, Chelsea told me so. Speaking of Chelsea, in June she finished her internship and officially completed all the requirements for her Masters degree. Yay! Finally to cap off a swell month, we celebrated our anniversary with some Southern Fusion cuisine:

Anniversary

A lot of you reading are in the South where there’s no need to “fuse” your food with anything, but you know. It was in Brooklyn. Just to note: I say you don’t need to fuse Southern food, not because Southern people aren’t fancy, but because there’s no way to improve Southern food. It’s already the pinnacle of cuisine. Anywho, if you check out the restaurant’s website and see that huge scrolling picture of fried chicken and a red velvet waffle, I will tell you, yea. It was as good as it looks.

July:

When 2013 began, I had an idea of the arc it might take, and visiting our respective hometowns was definitely an anticipated climax. It did not disappoint. 

But we shan’t let that overshadow Elijah’s first Fourth of July!

4th of July

This was in New Canaan, Connecticut where a friend from work lived. We enjoyed some grilled pizza, ice cream from a truck, and the longest and most beautiful fireworks display I’ve ever seen. No joke.

Now for our big vacation! After an unfortunate plane ticket/airline debacle, we made it to Alabama a day later than expected. Though it rained on our plane, it didn’t on our excited-to-be-home-parade, so all was well. Elijah of course had some long awaited meetings to attend. Such as with uncles:

Jacob

and great aunts:

Sherri

and other equally but not technically great aunts and uncles:

Mill & Jer

and great grandparents:

Grandma

Granny

Marion

I love that last picture. Chelsea’s Granny lives with her husband, Marion, in Arab, Alabama and there is an awesome serenity I feel each time we visit. They have a good bit of land and every time we go out, we walk around, take in the peaceful country, and enjoy just not really doing much of anything at all. We also usually take in some BBQ, sweet tea, and homemade cake. It gratifies all of my idyllic imaginations of what visiting grandparents in the Alabama country should be like, and that picture somehow captures all that emotion.

Anywayz, Alabama consisted  of lots of friends, family, food, and first times in a pool:

Jenna

Unfortunately we didn’t get a shot of my matching full body shark suit. We did, however, get a shot hanging with some old high school friends:

JIBC

To be clear, those are high school friends of Chelsea, not Elijah. Though he has been applying to all da Ivy Leagues. After such a quick hello, we had to say goodbye, but our time in Alabama was of the highest quality. We anticipate a 2014 Christmas trip to Alabama so keep those fingers in shape, because Elijah’s cheeks grow increasingly squeezable by the day.

Travel to Tulsa was hiccupless (boom word invention) and our pick up from the airport was particularly special because a certain set of grandparents had never met Elijah in person.

BFamily-4

As you may have noticed, that picture is not at the airport, but FYI it was taken by the wonderful Megan McLeod. Props also go to Megan for the awesome cover photo and About page pic from the same shoot. On to the many meetings in Tulsa!

So many friendz:

D and K

Anna

Amanda

Johnny P

and an uncle:

Bryan

Needless to say, Tulsa was amazing and we still miss all of you, like, a ton. Shameless plug: we do have a pullout couch in the one of the coolest cities in the world, so if you’re thinking vacation ever… Come soothe our homesick hearts.

So that was July. A climax indeed.

August:

With August came the unfortunate onset of reality, which meant job searching for us both. I had been working as a server at the same restaurant since we moved to the city, and through a fortuitous work friend/coincidental church-mate I was offered a position to be a manager at a bar in the Financial District. Truth be told, there is probably more money to be made being a server than a manager, but with a seven month-old we were looking more for security. Unfortunately, that security often meant me coming home at four in the morning and working the weekends. I don’t think I’ll remember this job really all that fondly, due to the hours and the demands, but I will always remember it as an awesome example of mundane grace. For all of the drudgery, the fact that I was managing a bar in NYC, with my prior experience, age, and all kinds of factors was pretty incredible. It was equally incredible that it paid exactly what we needed to survive, and that it was in the works even while we were on vacation. Thanks be to God.

September:

September is Chelsea’s birthday month. To celebrate the day, we ate some bangin’ crepes and enjoyed a nice day together. Other than that, September was spent adjusting to the new job and schedule, and most notably celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day:

Pirates

Our particular celebration consisted of dressing up with Chelsea’s homemade accouterments and going to Krispy Kreme to get free donuts. Another FYI: the only Krispy Kreme in NYC is located in Penn Station and the donuts are shipped in from New Jersey. It was still totally worth it. Two dozen free donuts. Our only regret is not making Elijah’s eyepatch edible.

October:

After three long months of waiting, Chelsea finally heard back from a few jobs. Longer-than-it-needs-to-be-story short, Chelsea accepted a job with CFR, the Center for Family Representation. If I get this a little bit wrong, I’m sure Chelsea will correct me in the next post, but CFR basically handles the majority of legal representation for child welfare cases in Manhattan and Queens (with respective sister branches in the other boroughs). In other words, if a parent has an accusation of abuse or neglect against them, CFR provides free legal and social work services, as well as a parent advocate for support. The goal is to keep families together and children out of foster care as much as is safe and possible. Just to reinforce, God’s grace is so evident in our lives. Not only is Chelsea really enjoying her work, but CFR just opened a Queens location A MILE FROM OUR APARTMENT. We live in what many consider to be the boondocks of NYC, so for Chelsea to find a job in walking distance was completely unexpected. We have been unbelievably taken care of, which leads quite well into November.

November:

What I am most thankful for, and what I neglected to mention above, is that Chelsea’s new job means I get to stay at home with Elijah. Full time y’all. Our days consist of napping, eating, and playing. They say the best parents lead by example, so I feel pretty confident that Elijah will develop quite well in all the above categories. To reward those who are actually reading this outrageously long post, and to break up the sea of text for those people who scroll through and just think to themselves, “No, here’s a picture:

Millers

These swell folk are my mom’s sisters and brothers and I have really enjoyed getting to know them better just this past year. We celebrated Thanksgiving with them in Maryland, and I legitimately think Elijah overate. But you don’t want a picture of that.

December:

Nothing happened in December.

Jk. Christmas happened, duh. With Christmas came a slew of visitors. Grammy and PawPaw came to visit first and enjoyed a snowy city:

Mike & Kel

Then came a bunch of firsties. Uncle Jacob came with the rents’ and enjoyed his first trip to NYC. We all had a splendid time. Next up were Grandma and Grandpa Butay, also with their first trip to the city. Elijah-boy graced them with some of his first steps. Finally, technically in January, La-La-Lauren Wells visited for a weekend (FOR DA FIRST TIME). And we partaaaay’d. The high of December was definitely having all of those people over. The low was taking some of those people to Times Square.

So here we are.

January.

2014.

On Sunday, Elijah will be one. Whaaaaaaat? Scroll down memory lane with me:

Birth

Now he’s turned into this crazy dude:

Toyz

To close out, here are some things we are looking forward to in 2014:

– #grashtin2014

Grashtin

– House of Cards

– Elijah becoming more Elijah.

– Chelsea’s next post.

That’s right she has one in the works AS WE SPEAK. Or… as you read.

We love you all very very much.

Grace and peace,

Elliot, Chelsea, & Elijah

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