Happy Mother’s Day!

So Chelsea and I have recently taken up a new hobby.

Archaeology.

Inspired by our love of history, the release of Jurassic Park in 3D, and Buster Bluth, we have immersed ourselves in the art and study of the worlds past. You’d be surprised at all of the amazing resources New York City has for such budding fossil, pottery, and buried-city-enthusiasts as ourselves. I mention this because in our avid pursuit for all things ancient, we were out on a dig and we unearthed our last blog post.

While none of the above story is true, it is true that we apologize for not updating, like, ever.

However, now that I’ve wasted your time, Happy Mother’s Day! As I write this it still technically is Mother’s Day for all of our South/Central friends (i.e., the people who read this blog) and this saves me the painstaking process of coming up with a title for the blog. First things first though, Happy Mother’s Day to our wonderful and beautiful mothers.

Lenore:

Mom Butay

And Kelly:

Mom Farris

It’s safe to say that these women love Chelsea and me with the deepest love possible, and we would like to say that they do an amazing job of showing it. For the last 20 some odd years these fine ladies have shown love, support, and sacrifice to make sure we were healthy, happy, and having fun. We are forever in your debt Mom(s) and we love you! Thanks for being great.

Second things second, today was obviously a special first Mother’s Day for Chelsea, and I would say that it was pretty swell. Some pancakes and bacon in bed, church, homemade lunch, Arrested Development, walk and pictures in the park, family nap, Skyping parents, take out, Jenga, and looking at cute animal pictures about sums up the day. Chelsea is an amazing woman and an amazing momma. For those who don’t know, this past year Chelsea has been juggling an internship three days a week, two sixteen-hour semesters, and a brand new baby in a brand new city amongst other things. I can personally attest that she has done so, with perseverance, grace, and all the while lookin’ real pretty. This last month especially had many a sleepless night of intermittent paper writing and baby feeding. Of course, those nights were not in vain as our baby is healthy and we are overjoyed to say that she has finally made it! This past Thursday was her final day of class and barring another month of internship (to make up for maternity leave) and one summer class she will be Chelsea Butay, MSW. She has worked so hard and been a wonderful wife and mom all the while to her little family, and that little family is really proud of her! Speaking of her family, I’ll stop bragging on Chelsea and get to third things third.

This guy:

Park 6

Where did the last three months go? I have no idea. Though I could give you the stereotypical “It seems like just yesterday he was a newborn,” I rather more feel like we have gotten to enjoy Elijah growing these last three months and that is a blessing. It is a joy to see him learning new things and growing in so many ways. We have gotten to see him develop his own sense of style:

Beanie

Carseat

And also his saliva glands. Those have developed as well:

Park 5

And those awesome baby faces:

Dad

With Chelsea in school, I stay home with Elijah four days a week. For the past three months, those days have pretty much run the gamut of emotions from incredibly happy to want-to-throw-things-frustrated. But we are both learning a lot of new things right now, so I cut myself some slack for the frustrated days and try to embrace the joyful times. I feel a little overwhelmed to try and describe all the time we haven’t blogged about, so I won’t. I’ll just say that everyday I grow to love Elijah more and learn something new about him. And how can you not love this guy?

Park 4

Again, instead of trying to catch you up in detail, I will just say that the last three months have been wild and crazy and busy and fun and frustrating and a whole lot of things. Currently, we are basking in the relief that Chelsea no longer has papers and assignments hanging over her head, and trying to get caught up on everything that we have neglected in the busyness of this year.

Looking forward, we are very excited to go back to Alabama and Oklahoma in July! This means Elijah will be meeting some family and friends and grandparents for the first time. On a more personal note for me, it means muchacos, gut grinders, and sprinkled cake donuts (i.e., Taco Bueno, Kilkenny’s, and Daylight Donuts). Amen and amen. Other things we are looking forward to are Chelsea eventually applying for jobs, the summer in New York, and me possibly having some cool musical opportunities on the horizon.

I’m beginning to feel a direct correlation between the lateness of the hour and my moving further away from coherence. I think this may be a good time to wrap it up. I do apologize if I am confusing or general. Perhaps, one of us will blog again soon (HA!) with better details about how life is treating us here. You should know for now that we are well and happy and healthy and having a great time. I realize that, as I finish writing this, it is no longer Mother’s Day. But to all of our West Coast friends (i.e., no one who reads this blog) Happy Mother’s Day and a belated one to everyone else! I will leave you with some more pictures from our little personal Mother’s Day photo shoot in the park. Enjoy!

Park 1

Park 3

Park 10

Park 9

Park 2

Park 8

Park 11

Park 12

Grace and peace,

Elliot, Chelsea, & Elijah

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Does this thing still work?

Oh. It does work. It must be us then.

Nah, we work too. We just don’t blog enough. Maybe our next blog won’t start with some sort of apology as to why we haven’t updated in AGES. But y’all will just have to wait and see huh? I feel in a strange mood, so I apologize in advance for any incoherence or silliness. Though I imagine by now the silliness is to be expected.

As I sit here in bed in the darkness as Chelsea sleeps, I feel like it must be the middle of the night and lo, it is not even 11pm yet. Thankfully due to our jobs and schedules we haven’t yet become “old people.” Though we do oft go to bed earlier these days. I’m not entirely sure why I used the term “old people” because I am often annoyed at people who claim to be becoming an “old person” when they talk about going to bed at a completely reasonable time; as if to make all the people who stay up until ungodly hours of the night the “normal” ones. It’s not normal to sleep 3 hours a night. And to all those who claim that they run “just fine” on 3 hours a night, I’m pretty sure science still says you’re going to die younger. Or be unhappy at any rate. But enough of this nonsense! You don’t read this blog to hear my middle-of-the-night ravings. But why do you read it? Who am I kidding, you just want pictures.

This is what Chelsea looks like exactly one week before her due date:

Chelsea

This is what I look like exactly one week before Chelsea’s due date:

Elliot

It really does grow. It really does grow.

But in all seriousness it has been a wild couple of months! We are very thankful baby decided to wait at least 39 weeks before wanting out. What with best friend’s weddings and holidays and one week crash course electives to take. I can’t believe the last time we updated was Halloween. Since that time we enjoyed an awesome Friendsgiving with these wonderful people:

Friendsgiving

The couple on the far right are our new friends Dustin and Jenn Talley. We met Dustin and Jenn at our small group and the very first night they graciously invited us over for Halloween. Since then, they have become our magical New York holiday buddies. They had us for Thanksgiving and then we ended up watching this guy over Christmas:

Parker

This is Parker Talley. So for practically every major holiday of 2012 we found ourselves at the Talley house. Which was quite alright with us. But fer realz, Dustin and Jenn are great hosts and even more so great people and awesome friends. As are all of our awesome small group friends from Forefront who threw us a baby shower just last week! Hopefully we will have pictures soon to come, but suffice to say there was a taco bar and cake. Oh and they gave us stuff for the baby too. We are overwhelmed with thankfulness for the amazing love and support of these new friends. We would be sad and lonely new New Yorkers without them.

For the sake of posting cool pictures I decided not to tackle this update chronologically, so rewind to before Christmas. We spent the weekend of December 15 celebrating with some of our best friends in the world, Josh and Megan Weed. Only before the 15th they were Josh Weed and Megan McKitrick. See how that works? Cause’ they got mahweed. See how that works? I put their name in the jok- so anyways, we traveled to Houston and got to spend some much needed time with friends and family. This was our first time to see all our friends from Tulsa since we moved up here, and it was really a breath of fresh air. We are by no means miserable up here, but by golly I do miss my friends a lot. Here’s the happy couple:

Weed Wedding

Indeed that is a live band you see behind them. It was an awesome wedding and we couldn’t be happier for them. Someday you can ask one of us and hear about the wonderful love circle that was Josh introducing me to Chelsea, who introduced him to Megan, and therefore created eternal happiness for us all.

After the wedding, we figured since the 8 months pregnant lady was already out and about we might as well jump on a few more planes, and we headed to Birmingham for a few days. There we got some more good family time and another shower was thrown for us, where this happened:

Monkey Hats

It’s true. We have matching family monkey hats. I’m tempted to say that this rivals a taco bar, but I won’t make any rash decisions. Needless to say, they are awesome, and once again we are amazed by our family and friends. It is a crazy blessing to rack up a hefty bill at Buy Buy Baby and then chop it to pieces with gift cards. It’s the same as the amazement I feel when I look in our kitchen and realize that other people bought us nearly everything we use day in and day out. At the risk of sounding trite, I’ll repeat once more that we are incredibly blessed and we surely would not be where we are if not for our friends and family, old and new.

That about sums up our December. January so far has looked like a fun New Years, lots of cleaning/buying/preparing for baby, and as I mentioned earlier, Chelsea finished up two electives last week and today is the last day of her internship before her maternity leave. Chelsea has been having the mixed feelings of how it feels to carry a full term baby everyday up and down stairs and in and out of subways, and the wanting to finish her classes and be ready at home for baby. Having made it through those things we can almost say that we are ready for baby to actually come! For sure Chelsea has been a trooper. I won’t even begin to delve into my thoughts on the fact that a little human is about to invade our lives forever. It’s a little bit and a lot bit of every emotion. Probably except anger… Or jealousy… Or sorrow… You know what I mean.

One of the things I realize about not updating frequently enough is how many stories I wish I could tell and all the details I want to convey but that would make posts insanely long. That said, we will try to be better about updating in the future! Hopefully since Chelsea is off soon she can give y’all an update as well (guilt guilt guilt). Some things to look forward to:

– Nursery and updated apartment pictures!

– Potentially interesting updates about my creative and musical life/job!

– Baby pictures?!

And so much more. For now I can leave you with our baby name choices! If it’s a boy we are thinking of going with Elliot Chelsea Butay and if it’s a girl we are thinking Chelsea Elliot Butay.

Or maybe I’ll leave baby names for the next post too…

Grace and peace,

Elliot & Chelsea

We Made It!

The blog that is. Well we made it to New York too, but first things first!

For those who do not know, Chelsea and I got married on June 30th! I would go into some sort of detail about the day but my friend Rachel Coward has done a better (and more stylish) job on her blog than I feel I could do right now. (Read it here.) Many thanks to Rachel Coward and Parker Miles Blohm for shooting our wedding. They did a marvelous job and far exceeded our expectations (as you should click above and see for yourself). But what happened after the wedding? Well what happens after any wedding?

We went on a honeymoon of course.

We stayed in this little condo in Savannah, Georgia for the week after the wedding. Savannah is a beautiful little town (note the Spanish moss everywhere) with tons of historic spots, and places to eat, and a nice River Street, and lots of restaurants, and a beach and good spots for food. Oh yeah, there are a lot of places to eat too.

So we ate…

And drank…

We made some pretty tasty stuff too. But of course eating isn’t all we did.

To the beach!

and the pool!

Aside from some town squares and parks, this was probably the most historic spot we stopped at. Unless you consider Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons Restaurant historic. But I would not. I’ve had better fried chicken, Paula. I’ve had better.

So if you’re bored to tears by our honeymoon now, I’ll move on. After the ‘moon, we were back in Tulsa for a few nights. We had this awesome reception where we nom’d some hot dogs and burgers with all of our Tulsa friends.

Of course the one evening we plan a reception with outdoor games in a garden is the one evening it rains in Tulsa, after a month of drought. But it was good. It was intimate. And there was some mad Jenga played that night.

When we had said our farewells to our wonderful family in Tulsa, we headed back to Alabama to pack up our stuff. At about 5am on July 18th we set out for West River, Maryland, our break point for our long trip and the convenient residence of my wonderful Uncle Dobbie and Aunt Dawn.

Dobbie and Dawn hosted us in their amazing home right off the bay and treated us to some real Maryland crab cakes. We also got to connect with some other family I have in Maryland that I haven’t seen in a while, which made me very happy. Then finally we were off to New York. From June 30th to July 20th we drove roughly 3,000 miles – about 50 hours in the car. By the end of it we were very good at solving board game mysteries and my body was composed of 60% Mt. Dew instead of water (bucket list check). We crashed in Astoria for the first weekend with Chelsea’s friends from Alabama, Eric and Jamie Young.

I didn’t know Eric and Jamie before but now I consider them good friends. They are truly great people not to mention awesome hosts and a great help in our slightly grueling apartment search. We had a fun week with a Norwegian couch-surfing host in the heart of Manhattan. This was the view from his 22nd story apartment right outside Madison Square Garden.

For now we’re back with Eric and Jamie. The amount of love, support, and hospitality we have received in the last month has been God’s grace incarnate to us. Our friends and family are unbelievable and we have been incredibly blessed. Many many thanks to all of you.

Well, hopefully this catches you up on our last month. It has been wild since we’ve been married for a month but still live out of suitcases. The apartment search goes on! Chelsea will post soon all about that fiasco (with fun pictures no doubt) and more about life in New York. But speaking of posts! This one is finished. The blog has been made. The first post written. Bucket list check.

Grace and peace,

Elliot and Chelsea