Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in NC

We were so blessed this Christmas season that there was no time for blogging; and the list of things that I wanted to blog about was so long that it stressed me out thinking about it! So I avoided it like the plague!

But, I do want to remember the feelings, expressions, and sentiments expressed this year because it was probably my favorite Christmas with the kids. Well, technically, it was the first Christmas with the kid(s) since it was Grey's first, but you get the point.

So, we started Christmas Eve eve at our house with my Mom, my brother and his family. We attempted to go to the Tanglewood Festival of Lights to see the several-mile-long light display and perhaps ride through on a hayride and take a pit-stop to get some hot chocolate and apple cider. However, upon arrival, at opening time, we discovered the line was already three-hours-long! Obviously the kiddos could not stand to wait in a stopped car for three hours, no matter how many songs we sang, so we turned tail and drove back home. Sad, since Skylar has been super excited about all of the Christmas lights she's seen around town this season.

However, she wasn't too disappointed since she got to open up her first presents (well, besides the three that she snuck up to her room a few weeks ago to open). You can see the excitement on her face! Its so hard not to spoil your children when you want them to be excited and make these types of faces!
Grey was also pretty excited about opening presents. Although he had not ripped any paper off of the presents before this, he made sure that no bows were still attached after each wrapping session. When we finally let him open presents he kept looking back at us like, really?, I can do this?
Christmas Eve, we went over to Granny's house to see my extended family, eat and open more presents. This year it was all about the cameras.
Grey was sporting his Elf hat and slippers and him and Skylar had on matching Christmas shirts. Sadly, I did not get any pictures of them wearing them! I guess I'll just have to put them back on them this week for a photo op! Grey has learned to pull up to standing position and pulls up on everything! Although he usually has no idea what to do once he is up.
And these chunky cheeks belong to Mr. Mason, my cousin's baby who was born one month after Grey. How cute is he?!
Stay tuned for the next installment: Christmas in Oak Ridge, TN!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We have had tons of fun the last few weeks and especially the last few days with Christmas, but I don't have time to blog about everything or upload my pictures... so instead, I leave you with this: Made for me by my dear, sweet, perfect hubby. The best Christmas present. Ever.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Last Saturday we got our first snow of the year! Grey stayed nice and cosy inside while Skylar couldn't wait to get outside. She really wanted to build a snowman, but sadly we just didn't have enough for that. That did not stop her in the least however from going outside.

And she's off!

We've discovered that if snow on the slide makes you so supa-fast!
Sammy really enjoyed standing on top of Skylar's picnic table. Who knows?
Skylar and her cousin Cheyanne making snowballs from the top of the playset.
You can see from the railing here that we got about two inches! Not too shabby. Of course it is still in the yard now since we don't get any sunlight on our yard in the winter months and it has barely got above freezing this week! We'll see what happens tomorrow as we might be getting some more! Come on two-hour-delay on Monday!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December? Already?

Anyone else feel like there is no way it could already be December? As I think back over my to-do list for the year, I sadly have crossed off far fewer things than I would have liked. For me, life is more of the routine day-to-day activities and less of the big ideas and major events. And for some reason it seems like "life" rushes by so much faster that way.

In other news: Grey has taken off like a rocket and is crawling everywhere now. His favorite things to crawl to are the Christmas tree (three of our ornaments have been broken already from him grabbing the lower branches and pulling down); the dog bowls (thankfully he has not gotten ahold of any dog food that I know of); the stairs (way to go us for putting the stair gate up super early!) and our key stand.

He is also cutting his top two teeth right now, so I really wanted to get some pictures up of this super cheesy little face as is:
He makes me laugh every.time.he.cheeses like this. Those two little bottom teeth melt my heart. And as you can see... this little guy really enjoys his food. He is all about the self-feeding and tends to get angry when he can't feed himself, or when you try to give him baby food instead of part of what you are eating. And instead of pinching his food up one bite at a time, he prefers the faster method of shoveling food in two fistfuls at a time. No kidding. I have several bibs, but don't even bother with most of them anymore. I only use my IKEA bibs that are full-body bibs and if it the food involves red sauce? Stripping works best.
How old are you Skylar? That's right! My three-year-old can sight read two words now: "happy" and "feet!"
She is also a second mommy and is always right on top of Grey to make sure that he doesn't get into anything he shouldn't. They adore each other and it is so fun to see them play together. One of their favorite things is to play music together and the other day they spent about 30 minutes entertaining each other with this little guitar that Skylar got for her birthday. Seriously, 30 minutes of them happily playing with the same toy- it was incredible!

Did I mention his obsession with food? Right, well here was Skylar's attempt to finish her breakfast. Always gotta be on the lookout girly!
And if no food is available? The travel chair will do!
And last but not least: Papaw and Dada attempting to hula-hoop. They look like hula-hoopers don't they?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

To run or not to run.

The other weekend, I ran a 5K to support our local Autism Society with a few gals from my school. My name is in cyberspace as coming across the line around 36 and a half minutes. There is proof out there somewhere of me as I ran across the finish line. Proof, that I am sure I would rather not see as I tend to get all red and puffy when I exercise. Not the healthy flushed look that some women are blessed with... the splotchy, beet-red, gonna-die-any-moment-now look. I'll just let you imagine that for yourselves.

But, the amazing part is that I actually ran and finished a 5K with no training. Granted, I walked up two hills and part of a straightaway, but I ran most of it and my timing wasn't half bad. And it got me thinking. About really training. Really running. And running a longer distance. It got me thinking about a marathon.

You see, ever since I started grad school and then got pregnant with Skylar, I have been truly slack about any and all exercise. I have used every excuse in the book, and in the end, that is all they are. Excuses. And I'm tired of not fitting into my pants; of getting winded walking up the stairs; of knowing that I have let myself go.

And I want to change that. I miss the excitement of playing sports; joining a team; and feeling good about my appearance. I miss having a personal fitness goal that I work hard to achieve. Of seeing and feeling the difference that my hard work has made.

So, as I dream about training and running a half marathon in Nashville at the end of April, I wonder if I will make the change this time and stick it out. As I weigh the good and the bad: thinking about training outside in the winter, paying the big bucks and joining a gym, of being able to run up the stairs with a 20+ lb. baby in tow and still being able to talk to Skylar when I get to the top... We'll see. I'll let you know.

And if anyone is interested in training with me? Just let me know. :)

In other news: here are my beautiful children.
One thing about these kiddos: they have some gorgeous eyes.

Notice the hair sticking up in the back? Yea, nothing gets those locks to stay down.
Grey has sort of mastered crawling now: He can move up on his hands and knees... and then go straight backwards.
It's pretty frustrating for him. And we keep turning around to find him wedged under all sorts of things: his crib, the rocker, the couch, a bookshelf. Anything with a small opening.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Favorites

The fall season brings with it another first for us: Yard work.

Well, specifically fall yard work like raking up leaves. In years past we have either lived in apartments or had the yard work taken care o
f by the homeowners where we rented.

This year we had to trek out to Home Depot to purchase some necessary items (i.e., rakes) and debate about whether to get the plastic or metal kind.

We compromised and got one of each.

While Ken huffed and puffed while raking up the leaves, I took over the ever-important, totally tiring, and very dirty job of documenting
on camera this first for us.

Surprisingly, Grey did not care too much for the huge pile of leaves. I was completely shocked, thinking he would be in heaven with all of that yumminess to grad and munch on. I had already convinced myself that leaves were organic and therefore okay to consume in small amounts, assuming that he would get at least a few handfuls in his mouth while I was happily shooting away.

However, this was the face I got when I put him do
wn in the huge pile of leaves.

Did I mention that we have a TON of leaves. Cause we do. A ton. And we don't have yard waste pick-up since we are in the county. That is another first for us: burning. To be saved for another post when we ask for donations to help up rebuild our burnt-down house.

Just kidding. Hopefully we will only need a new garage.

But back to the more important kiddo pics: Doesn't Grey look handsome in his little cap and jacket! Love him!

P.s., this was taken mere seconds before he tumbled face-first into the leaves. Really not a happy camper after that...

And a further side note: There really is nothing quite like looking through a camera lens while watching your baby fall face first to the ground. I'm not quite coordinated enough to prevent this from happening while simultaneously taking the picture and so I freeze for a second and think, "Is it worth a little pain to get a keeper of his face mid-fall?" And then I chastise myself for thinking that, even for a split second, and throw the camera behind my back while running to pick up my now-screaming kid.

In the meantime, Ken was busily raking away and Skylar was busy trashing his neat little piles.

She had a full-out plan of attack:

First, wait quietly for him on the opposite side of the pile...
And then run for her life towards the incoming leaves... (yes, this is her running face, hah!)

And then, stop mid-pile just before the huge wave of leaves crashed down on her.

Don't worry. She survived.

And then she would prance around saying, "Momma, watch me do this!" as she did the same thing over and over again. Ahh, repitition, so good for little minds; so annoying after a time to their parents.

We still love you, even if we don't really want to watch you run around the center staircase for the 35th time in a row. Or in this case, run around the pile of leaves for the 35th time in a row. This girl can make a circle out of anything.

We are loving the fall season here and have had lots of fun making crafts and learning all about fall things. It certainly makes a difference when your kids get old enough to really start understanding and remembering things!

And it truly is such fun to pass down all the fun things we did as children and watch your own kids having a blast doing the same things!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This weekend has been pretty busy and lots of fun! I've had a three day weekend and could really use another day to take care of chores and such that have piled up over the weekend...

On Friday, we went back to the pumpkin patch and brought some friends along...

This little guy in the back in JJ, Skylar and Grey's cousin. Everytime he sees me with a camera, he shouts, "hey, take a picture of me doing this (fill in the blank)!"

This time, I got a few of the kiddos in the actual pumpkin patch.

And here is the gang: JJ, Grey, Cheyanne, Caleb, and Skylar. Its a miracle we got all of them in the holes. Sort of. Well, they are mostly in there. :)

On Saturday, we took the kids to the Kersey Valley Maize Adventure and were pretty shocked by how extensive the place is. It is kind of like a little old town with tons of stuff to do. And the maize maze was pretty impressive. You have to go through and find all of the different checkpoints (six in all) and each one has a picture with an animal, a weapon, and a location that you can mark off your card. The one left in each category tells you who killed the farmer. Basically CLUE, maize style.

Skylar really enjoyed pointing out which direction to go in at each turn.

Saturday night we went to my Granny's church for their festival and enjoyed some hotdogs and marshmallows over the bonfire, and a little skit before Trunk-or-Treating. Skylar, of course, was mute during the Trunk-or-Treating, but talked non-stop on the way home about all the candy she got. The suckers were a huge hit.

On Sunday, we went to our church's Festival and made the mistake of letting Skylar bounce in the bounce house first. Ruined the rest of her day when she had to get out. :) Well, she perked up a little later when she got to play games and get candy. This was her pre-bouncy when she was a little full of herself. :)
Grey was pretty serious all night. Except when the strange kid came up and squeaked his ears (they are squeaky); then Grey laughed at the boy.
First family photo: Skylar and Grey both looking at something and Skylar squeaking Grey's ears.
Next attempt: Skylar has one of her "looks" for some reason!
We met some friends there: Here are Krista and her little boy Ryder.
After that, we came back home and went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. The cousins came over to join us. I'm pretty impressed with my SIL's costume-making abilities! She did them all herself!