huge milestone for this little Irish girl

Wow, I’m way behind on posting pictures on the blog. While I love blogging, I can’t feel too bad about being behind because that time is instead being spent on wonderful things: mainly spending every second with Michael & Evelyn where possible! In the evenings, We typically get home around 5:30/6:00, feed Evelyn while we’re making dinner, give her some finger food while we’re eating, I nurse her, then it’s play time for a while. That goes by too fast and already it’s 7:00/7:30 – time to read a book or two and put her to bed. Afterward, my mental list of items I want to accomplish in the couple of hours before my bedtime is already too long.

So, when you don’t see posts, it’s a good thing! We’re making memories. Also, I’m going to keep the commentary brief on these next few posts, just to get caught up.

On November 3, some of our family joined us on Notre Dame’s campus to go to the ND/Pittsburgh game. It was Evelyn’s first time at a Notre Dame game, but Grandma, Evelyn and I actually didn’t go TO the game. We hung out in LaFortune (the student center) and stayed warm & cozy.

First, we went to brunch in Amish country. Evie took a nap in Grandpa’s arms to prepare for the big day.

Ericha, Michael’s parents’ former next door neighbor … but she’s part of the family. 

Andrew, Michael’s cousin & Godson.

Evie, Michael and the Dome.

The whole gang …

… and Darrell & Laurel! We’re so happy they came too. 

At the Grotto.

South Quad on gameday.

The Band of the Fighting Irish at Bond Hall … and a crazy band alumni.  ::rolls eyes::

“Hi everyone!”

Snuggling with Grandma.

The next day, sporting her new Packers spirit wear, from Grandpa & Grandma!


…and pure cuteness.


nc to see c+c

We drove to North Carolina in October to visit my brother & his girlfriend in their new town of Charlotte. It was an awesome weekend, full of quality time, catch-up and absolutely delicious food. Our culinary experience that weekend included homemade pad thai, an entire dish of peanut butter cookie dough brownie something-or-others, homemade breakfast sandwiches, the discovery of Zaxby’s, bagel dip, BBQ at a blues festival, and an awesome breakfast cafe on Sunday.

But moving beyond the food … it was so relaxing to hang out with Chris & Carley in their new home. Chris used to live in Dayton with us, since he graduated college … so we were used to having him around all of the time. I definitely took it for granted. Even though I am so happy for him & proud of him for getting such an amazing job, I sorely miss him!

On Saturday before the Notre Dame game, Chris & Carley took us to a nearby lake and we walked around it. It was the perfect day … bright blue sky, slightly warm air, bright sun. Evelyn loves to be outside anytime, but today, it truly was a treat.

Checking out the water.

Evie & her Uncle Chris 🙂

Michael, Evie, Chris & Carley.

Cutest couple ever.

Cutest dad + baby ever.

Chris being his awesome self.

Settling in for naptime.

nom nom nom

Our little family of three!

Like I said … cutest couple ever.   … Am I right?

… and this is when we found a completely unopened can of Bud Light. He almost drank it … but it was too early in the morning.

the gang 🙂

C+C + Evie

Happy baby.

Standing up (with help) like a big girl.

(Love Evelyn’s face here … “whoooa!”)

Later on that day … gametime! This is a great picture of Michael and Evelyn.

She debuted her newest piece to her ND collection that day. It’s a gorgeous handmade dress by Laura, who has a shop on Etsy: Handmade by Lolo Z.  I highly, highly recommend her work. The dress was even more beautiful in person than the picture on Etsy. The dress is also awesome because it’s a knot dress – so the straps can be adjusted to grow with Evie.

Our little football girl.


Laughing at Uncle Chris. Who wouldn’t?

She loves her Uncle Chris & Aunt Carley.

Daddy kisses

Love, love, love.

… and, we’ll end with this face. You know this face, ND fans. It’s face you make 80% of the duration of our games. Lately, it ends in relief, but not without some pain. (9-0, GO IRISH BEAT BC!)

(Oct 13, 2012)


These aren’t the best quality photos, but they capture some pretty cute moments between Evelyn & Rilo – and some cuddle time with Mrs. Crowe!

Darrell’s mom & dad visited Ohio, and we hung out with them for a gamewatch (ND vs. Miami). Darrell made an absoLUTEly amazing dinner of braised beef short ribs (a Pioneer Woman recipe, so you know it always has a great ending), and then we visited, watched football and drank some beer & cider.

Even though Evelyn looks quite indifferent in this picture, she loved hanging out with Mrs. Crowe.

… and also loved more encounters with her BFF Rilo.

Kisses for Evie.

Tired eyes, but clearly enjoying herself.

She loves to reach out and pet Rilo – sometimes with 2 hands.

When Rilo comes near, she is very calm & observant.

(Probably watching an intense play here.)

Sleepy, cuddly time. You can tell Mrs. Crowe is a pro at this.

… and then some happy awake time later on, changing into jammies with Daddy.


(Oct 6, 2012)

snapshots, sep 10-25

If you’d like to see even more photos, as they happen, request to follow me on Instagram. My username is abartowi.

packer time! – making cookies for Maggie in Afghanistan – time with Grandma & Papa – first finger painting – first project (that mommy did) for school – anniversary date night for Michael and I – dragon fruit

awolnation concert with adam & erika – peeking in on our sleeping girl at the concert – ND game – the crowd showing off their leis for Manti Te’o – playing at the park

Bobbi babysits! – hanging out with Katelyn – outside on the stoop with Mommy after work – playing with Sahra – Michael being matchy-matchy – mirror time with Mommy

God Bless Evelyn

The day Evelyn turned 7 weeks old, she was baptized at the University of Notre Dame, our alma mater.

We knew we were going to be on campus for a friend’s wedding on Friday. So, we checked availability of the Log Chapel on Sunday & the availability of Michael’s friend, Matt. Matt was Michael’s RA in college and was ordained as a Holy Cross priest the week before Evelyn was born. He is currently living in Mexico as the priest of a very large parish. We were very lucky that he was able to make time in his extremely busy schedule to be with us on campus and welcome Evie into the Church.

These pictures are a mash-up of ones that Michael, Michael’s parents, my sister and I had taken that weekend.

Here is Michael, giving Evelyn a bottle.

Evie was very reluctant when we first introduced bottles. It took a few days of adamant protesting on her part. Soon, however, she was quickly gulping them down! I’m happy that she enjoys her bottles, so other special people in her life can feed her while I get a break! It’s also great practice for when I go back to work (on July 10), when I’ll be pumping in the office and Evie will be taking bottles during the day.

…And here is our pretty girl, wearing her first hair accessory and her absolutely gorgeous, handmade dress by Grandma Barto! I love the dress. It’s a floral fabric with tiny royal blue flowers and green leaves, with royal blue lining & a ribbon sash (the flower also goes on the sash). I wish we had gotten a better picture of it, but it definitely has room for her to grow … so she will be wearing it many more times! She’s wearing it here for her brief cameo at the wedding we attended on Friday. Grandma & Grandpa Barto babysat her in the hotel room upstairs for the rest of the night while we partied it up 🙂

Bottle time with Grandpa.

Taking a break from the party to wish my little girl a good night.

Evelyn got to see her 3 cousins again, since they made the trip for the baptism! Here is O-Baby.

O-Baby & his beautiful mama.

O-Baby was about 8 months old when these pictures were taken.


Girl talk with Aunt Becca.

Always smiling for her daddy!

Modeling her pretty summer dress & match espadrilles.Thank you, Tim & Lana!

Meeting Grams for the first time. Michael’s grandma has 33 great-grandchildren & Evelyn is her 31st.  That’s right … there have been two great-grandkids born since Evie! Easton was the 32nd and Rafael was the 33rd, I believe.

Grams & Evie having a very serious discussion.

O-Baby is a strong baby!

Hard to believe that in a matter of months, Evie will have strength & head control like her cousin.

Later that day, going to CJ’s pub for some burgers and meeting Father Matt.

Ben loves Baby Evie.

Squinty Jackson snuggling with his mommy.

Grandpa checkin’ in with Evie.

*Love* this picture of Evie with her Aunt Em.

Lottie & Ben

Michael (Emily’s Michael 🙂 … let’s call him Michael D.), Emily, Carley & Chris.

Naptime close to her daddy.



Ben .. probably been a cutie again.

Michael and his Godson … and Evie.

It seems every time I look, this baby has a smile on his face.

Baptism morning! Smiles during a diaper change with Grandma.

Notre Dame’s Log Chapel … a replica of the one built in 1831.

Grandma holding Evelyn in her baptismal gown. Evelyn is the third generation to wear this gown. My grandma (my mom’s mom) made the gown for her four children, including my mom. Then I wore it, then my brother, and then my sister. It hadn’t been worn for 21 years, but it was still pristine & beautiful.

Grandma & Papa

The sign of the cross

Evie’s Godfather.

She was so calm while having water poured on her. She likes having her hair washed! Father Matt made sure the holy water was warm, and that made all the difference.

Chris (Godfather), Becca (Godmother), me & Michael.

The newest member of the Church!

Little family of three.

Thank you, Father Matt!

With the Godparents.

Three generations.

Kisses from Grams.

Log Chapel steeple

Everyone walking down to the grotto … Jackson was smart and hitched a ride with Michael D.

Michael, Jackson & Mike lighting a candle.

Our little angel.

…Love these pictures of our family… Mom, Dad, me, Evie, Emily & Chris.

Evelyn is so lucky that her great-grandma came to her baptism! We all love Grams very much.

A close-up of Evie’s gown.

Baptism brunch at Tippecanoe Place … relaxin’ with Papa & Aunt Em.

Observing from her perch on Grandpa’s shoulder.

Grams, beautiful as always.

O-Baby having a ball, bouncing with Grandpa.

Just missing Jeremy, Tina & Lucas!

Thanks to Mom, Dad, Chris, Carley, Emily & Michael …. Grams, Lottie, Michael’s parents, Becca, Mike, Jackson, Ben & Owen for making the trip to campus for Evelyn’s baptism! It was a wonderful weekend and we feel so blessed by your love & presence in her life (our lives).