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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Sweet Home Briarwood

Elliot & I may be some of the world’s worst bloggers, since we’ve gone a month since our first update. Sorry about that. But we have lots of exciting news in exchange for the wait, so hopefully that makes up for it. First, after 1.5 months of staying in condos/hotels/friends’ living room floors, Elliot & I have officially been in our own apartment for a little over three weeks. I can’t even believe it’s been that long already! As everybody who’s ever moved probably knows, it’s easy to get caught up in all the details of what still needs to be done, so all the unpacking/settling in has made the time fly by pretty quickly, hence the failure to post. But that’s all behind us now, because here we are, postin’ it up from Briarwood, Queens. Briarwood is a tiny neighborhood that’s best-known as the former site of United Nations housing, as well as home of the Catholic high school responsible for educating New York’s current governor AND David Caruso from CSI: Miami(!!). Maybe one day we’ll run into him when he comes back to visit his alma mater. We can only hope.

Anyway, we’re doing a pretty good job making ourselves at home in between Elliot’s work schedule and my…not-having-anything-to-do-but-unpack-and-clean-for-three-weeks. We have no couch or dresser at the moment and we’re short at least one bookshelf, but our kitchen is totally well-stocked, our dining room chairs have been painted, and we were so, so blessed by all our family and friends when we got married that we’ve been able to get pretty much everything we’ve needed with gift cards. Seriously, without all the support of the people in our lives, we would be eating ramen and sleeping on the floor. We are really grateful.

And, of course, we don’t only spend our time unpacking or at Target. We make time to watch episodes of Lost on Netflix and cook very tasty dinners together a few nights a week, along with visiting churches, so we’re definitely taking time to enjoy each other’s company and develop some sort of routine together, which is good, since I start school on Thursday. It’s been a luxury to have so much time together, for sure (a two month honeymoon, some might say), but it’ll definitely be nice to have some new stuff added to the mix.

With all that said, we thought we’d give everybody a look at our new home, since some of you will hopefully come up for a visit or two it in the next year, eh?? To preface, our building, neighborhood, and apartment are not without quirks. An upstairs neighbor who regularly throws Indian food out the window and onto the space outside our apartment/our window sill? Yes, we have one of those. And neither one of us has ever lived somewhere with radiator heat, so we’re pretty curious to see what that’s like this winter, but it’s fun figuring all this stuff out with each other. Yay for adventure!

Anyway. On with the tour. Please excuse the maybe excessive detail. Since we can’t have all of you over to show you around and make dinner for you, this is what we do instead. Here’s the outside of our building:

Our street is really residential, which we like, because it keeps things pretty quiet. Our neighbors also seem to do an awesome job keeping their gardens well-planted, so we get to admire lots of nice yards on the walk to our plant-less apartment.

Here’s our front door, complete with the welcome mat given to us by some friendly, anonymous person in the building:

We’ve only met a few of our neighbors, but so far they seem like pretty nice people.

Here’s our little foyer area.

Notice Guard Duck, who made it safely all the way from Elliot’s room in Tulsa. Elliot really loves that ceramic duck. In fact, when he reminded me to mention Guard Duck right here, he actually said, “Let’s all just hug Guard Duck,” and picked him up to take a picture together. Good friends.

This is the dining…area? Hallway? Something.

Whatever it is, we’re so happy to have this little space in our apartment. Most places we’ve seen in the city have eat-in kitchens or combined dining/living rooms, so even though it’s a small area, we’re happy to be able to separate it a little bit from the other parts of the apartment. Of course, these chairs are not permanent. They’re stand-ins while I finish painting/covering the seats on the chairs that came with the table, and they’ve also taken the place of a couch for the time being (thanks for the chairs, Aunt Terri!!). We also have plans to refinish the table, but we’re trying to pace ourselves and not have too much unfinished furniture at a time.

The first room to be finished once we moved in was the kitchen:

We were very ready to be able to cook our own meals and buy groceries, so having a livable kitchen with everything we needed took precedence over everything else in the apartment (except a shower curtain). It’s small, but it has enough space for us, with the help of the big cabinet we found on Craigslist for $30. Heyo! It was a huge hassle to pick up and bring back to the apartment (I begged to just leave it on the sidewalk in Brooklyn) but it’s been so worth it to have all the extra space. Also, check out the Crock-Pot on the counter. BBQ pork sandwiches for dinner. Happy Labor Day!
Here’s our spacious but mostly empty living room:

The dining room chairs have made this their temporary home, along with our board game cabinet, this nice yellow chair we found, and a couple of boxes of decorative things and blankets that are begging for a couch to be draped over.

Here’s Elliot’s work area:

One day, we’ll have some shelves to put those speakers on instead of boxes. But they’ll work for now.

Next is our very short hallway:

Then on the left, we have the bathroom:

I have to say, I really love having a medicine cabinet. It’s maybe one of my favorite things; all the apartments here have them. I guess if your bathroom is big enough to put things in drawers, you don’t need one, but we have no bathroom drawers, so I personally think it is very cool.

On the right in the hallway is our bedroom:

I hope it isn’t the most depressing room you’ve ever seen. We’re just glad to have a bed that’s not on the floor. It’s also still too hot to sleep with a comforter or quilt when you don’t have air conditioning, so the bed looks a little sad at the moment. Still. It’ll come together sometime. Maybe next year we’ll invest in A/C so at least the bed can stay stylish year-round.

And at the end of the hallway is our nursery:

Hey! Yeah, that’s the even more exciting news we have for you (although it’s old news for some). Come January, that awesome handmade (but unassembled) crib in the corner will be home to a lil’ baby Butay!

We’re 20 weeks along as of yesterday, so we’re halfway to meeting this little guy or girl, and we’re way beyond excited! I’ve been able to feel it moving around a lot these days, and I’ve (finally!) started to get a little bit of a belly, so someday soon I’ll be able to give people glances on the subway when they announce that people should give their seats to elderly, disabled, and pregnant people, and maybe I won’t have to stand so much. Obviously, that’s not what I’m most excited about, but I’d say it’ll definitely be a perk.

So those are the main things going on for us right now. Having an apartment, starting school, working, and getting ready for a little pumpkin to join our family very soon. It might seem a little silly to some for us to share so many of these details on a blog, but we sort of figure that, in addition to keeping people up-to-date, it’s also a great way for us to keep track of everything that’s going on right now in our lives. Having so many things going on at once can sometimes keep us from being really focused and present in any of those things, so this is our attempt to keep track of what’s going on, what we’re learning, and what it’s all like, so we don’t get too distracted by everything to be grateful. It’ll be so fun to look back in a couple of years & remember what the very beginning was like for us, so hopefully we can keep this up a little more consistently now.

On that note, since everyone has the big details now, we hope nobody’s too disappointed if the blog starts to fill up a little more with the smaller things that go on in our lives or thoughts. We’re looking forward to all the work and learning this is bringing our way, so we’re happy to have everybody in our lives to share it with. Woowoo! Had to add that after all the seriousness.

We love you guys!
Elliot & Chelsea