Monday, December 22, 2008

Pre-Christmas Festivities

In pictures...

We went to Mike's squadron's Christmas party where AK watched Santa come riding (taxi-ing) in a Harrier. He climbed out and then gave presents to all the children.

Abby Kate was NOT going up there when her name was called unless I dragged her, so that's what I did! Once she saw he was going to be giving her a present, well then she was all smiles of course.

Her favorite gift was the candy necklace. I've never seen her more focused than when she worked so hard getting those little pieces of candy off the string!

We let the girls exchange gifts and then went out to an adults only dinner one night to celebrate Christmas with the Newbolds.

On Sunday, we had our own family Christmas here at home since we'll be in TX on Christmas Day. Mike awoke early to assemble one of Abby Kate's gifts, while I distracted her with cartoons. It had a bazillion little parts... so THREE hours later...

She finds her little kitchen! She has been cooking us spaghetti, turkey, chicken nuggets and "betchables" (vegetables) all day, every day. (Thanks for the great gift, Grandma and Grandpa Wallace.)

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas along with success and happiness in 2009!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oh, the Nausea

I was hoping I would somehow be spared of it this time around. No such luck. I'm only approaching the 7th week and it's already started (a bit earlier than with AK). It's not as bad as I know it can get yet. Still holding out hope to feel well again by the time the 2nd trimester rolls around. Last time, it simply never went away.

We attended a Happy Birthday, Jesus, party last night as guests at our friends' church. It was great... we ate pizza and cupcakes in a birthday celebration, and then the kids followed the three wisemen into the sanctuary to present gifts to baby Jesus in the manger (which will later be given to the needy). AK took her present up to the manger and then just stood there. Mike and I think she was contemplating picking up baby Jesus and rocking Him. Afterward, we all sang Silent Night and Happy Birthday. Very sweet and meaningful for the children and parents alike. Thanks for inviting us, Sarah.

I have many photos to post surrounding pre-Christmas events that I've procrastinated downloading and posting. But they will come. I know I'm guilty of saying that and never posting, but I WILL this time! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good News!

Just wanted to let everyone know that Baby #2 is on his/her way! Mike and I found out we're expecting! It's early still, but we just can't hold in the news.

We are very excited, and Abby Kate wants to hold the baby NOW! I'm going to have to quit talking about it to her because she can't comprehend the time it takes for baby to get here. Speaking of the time it takes... I'm due early August.

I am feeling good so far besides being extremely tired some days. But I'd take tired for 40 weeks over nausea any day!

We ask for your prayers for the baby's healthy development. We'll keep you posted!

Saturday, December 06, 2008


This post is way overdue! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Kentucky. Thanks to my family for a wonderful time spent with you, as always. This year I am most thankful to have my dad and grandmother here with us and doing so well after such a hard year in and out of the hospital. We are truly blessed. I can't thank you enough for all your prayers for both of them.

Now that we're back home, we are enjoying watching Abby Kate get all excited about Christmas. I am currently trying to locate our Christmas tree which is probably under a heaping pile of boxes in our storage unit down the road.

We went to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball on Thursday night which was fun. Pictures to come later.

And I'll leave you with another funny AK story...

Abby Kate and I are in the [sorry excuse for a] mall here in New Bern, and standing in the middle of the intimate apparel section of the department store. My back is to AK as I'm browsing and all of sudden I hear her loudly exclaim:

"Oh, I like these boobies, Mommy! Look at these BOOBIES!" I turn around to find her grabbing the cups of size DD bras, going from one to the next... "And 'nother boobies! And 'nother boobies! I like these boobies, Mommy!"

I am fully embarrassed, but I cannot control my laughing enough to explain why we don't shout those words in public (or at home for that matter). And of course she sees me laughing and continues professing her love for the bras, thinking she's being cute. We headed straight out the door!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flying Solo

I'd like to say congrats to my wonderful husband on his first solo flight in the Harrier! He took off today after being canceled for one reason or another the last two days. He said it went very well and he enjoyed it. I'm learning (not by Mike necessarily) that this jet is highly complicated and harder to fly than most of the other jets. I think Mike doesn't tell me this because he doesn't want me to worry! :) Anyhow, please pray with me for his safety in flying it every day.

Way to go, Mike! (This is the jet that Mike flies, but no, that's not Mike in there. We're not allowed to take pictures in the area that they train, but I hear rumors of a Family Day coming up, where we get an opportunity to photograph them flying.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Few Quck Observations

The wonderment of dipping. Abby Kate dips her chicken nuggets in ketchup. Normal, yes. But when she proceeds to dip her apple slices in the leftover ketchup... well, that's just weird. No matter how much I tell her 'hey, that's gross!' she just gives me a cheesy smile and rakes the next one, stuffing it in her mouth while exclaiming, 'I'm dipping, Mommy!' The excitement of dunking food in sauce clearly trumps good taste any day.

Imitation. Seeing Abby Kate instruct her babies not to be scared, not to stand on the couch, not to scream, how to go on the potty, etc., amuses me to no end. I love catching her imitating us because it's just so funny. And heartwarming are the times when she hugs and kisses her babies and tells them it's OK and that she loves them.

Ease of amusement. Stickers do the trick for my little one. She will do anything for a sticker. (Let the bribes begin. haha) She also loves to sing. To get us through the grocery store without any whining, I simply get her to sing. She'll sing Jesus Loves Me until the cows come home. It keeps her entertained and makes everyone around us smile - which I must say is better than the scowls and huffs that crowded grocery store aisles usually breed.

Intelligence. The things Abby Kate learns when we're not looking astound us. Earlier this week she sat on the couch beside me one morning as we watched Fox News. Here's the dialogue:

AK: Mommy, that's a lady. [pointing to the woman on the screen]
Me: That's right, that's a lady.
AK: Mommy, you a lady?
Me: Yes, I'm a lady.
AK: Riiiiiiight!
Me: [after a few moments] Abby Kate, are you a lady?
AK: No, I'm a little girl.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trip to the Mountains

Mike casually mentioned one day, "Hey, do you think we should call up the Newbolds and see if they want to take a trip to the mountains for Veteran's day weekend?" And of course I was online with Sarah minutes later to find a place. We searched that night and more the next day for a place reasonably close by and pet friendly. We ended up finding "Alpine Cottage" in Cherokee, NC, a beautiful log cabin in the mountainous, western side of the state. We packed up the car and headed out minutes after Mike finished his last flight of the day on Friday and met up with the Newbolds six hours later at a Red Roof Inn just short of our destination. We stayed the night and then - after a yummy Cracker Barrel breakfast - left the next morning for our wooded haven in the Smokey Mountains.

We had a wonderful, relaxing, super-fun time hiking, hot tubbing, marshmallow roasting, sipping coffee-n-Bailey's, stuffing our faces, laughing and enjoying watching our girls experience the mountains. We ate chili and Sarah's awesome potato soup to warm up the cold nights. And then we ate some more just because we could. "Hey, who cares?! We're on vacation!" we said many times. We played board games and chubby bunny (I'll explain) and chatted fire-side late into the nights. The girls had a blast and were real troupers on our hikes.

It was the perfect get-away with great friends! Some highlights...

Our cabin, complete with gas fireplace, flat-screen TV and hot tub!

Even Junah had to dress warm. :)

I unsuccessfully attempted to rescue Eden from Colin who was trapped between very slippery rocks out in the middle of the creek. As I reached out for her, I shifted and ended up submerging my left foot and ankle into the creek. Colin and Mike decided to "roast" my sock and shoe. Several other falls by Colin, Eden and Maren resulted in more wet pants and shoes, as well as plenty of laughter.

"Baby Jack" joined us for hiking one day as well.

Gotta love having strong men to carry the goods!

Enjoying the beautiful landscape.

Newbold Family enjoying the scenery from the porch. We are so thankful they joined us!

THIS is a glimpse of the fun game called "Chubby Bunny." The goal is to get as many marshmallows in your mouth as you can while still being able to say 'chubby bunny.' Colin was the winner with more than 17 marshmallows stuffed in his cheeks! Mike chose to stuff his cheeks with a burrito instead. haha

This picture cracks me up because Sarah and Colin look like they are having a casual conversation albeit loads of marshmallows in their mouths.

A seasoned hiker by the time we left.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Buzz, Buzz...

Apparently witches, ghosts and skeletons are only scary when they are not handing out chewy, chocolate-y goodness. Abby Kate won't even look at a skeleton or witch in a book, but when I told her, "Hey, that witch wants to give you some candy. Just say trick-or-treat and hold out your pumpkin," all fear subsided. After that, our little bee was on a mission, as well as a sugar high. She walked past all kinds of scary costumes on streets and front porches and didn't even seem to notice. She was completely focused and could see nothing but the people with the bowls of candy. One time, she forgot to take her little pumpkin up to the door. When it was her turn to get the candy, she realized she didn't have her bag and almost started crying. She said, "oh no, Mommy, puuuuunkin!" I guess she didn't think she'd be given any candy without her pumpkin.

We drove her over to our friends' neighborhood (our neighborhood still has a lot of construction going on and only a handful of the homes are lived in). She was happy to be able to trick-or-treat with Eden and Maren. Eden was a very cute pirate and Maren was dressed as a little monkey. Maren cracked us up. She was so excited to eat the candy along the way that she just bit right into it without unwrapping any of the pieces. Every time we looked down she had bitten into the side of a Tootsie Roll or chewed the top right off a box of Nerds.

Maren and AK got started off right with mouthfuls of candy!

Mike had duty on Halloween, unfortunately, but he was able
to come by for a few minutes to see AK in her costume.

We had a fun time before it got too cold and we had to call it a night. Abby Kate enjoyed her treats and has asked for candy ever since. Today, when I asked her what she wanted for lunch she said simply, a jellybean sandwich.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Our little girl is two! She woke Sunday morning as bright and chipper as ever. When we reminded her that it was her birthday, her first words were, "Eat birthday cake?!"

Her friends arrived at 2 p.m. to start the party. We rented a Tinkerbell blow-up bouncy house for entertainment. It went well... up until the air hose popped out and the house came melting down on top of seven kids under 5. Screaming and panic ensued before Mike came out to save the day and popped the hose back in. The kids quickly began laughing and bouncing again. All of them except the birthday girl. She couldn't quite get past the terror of such an unexpected event and simply could not be persuaded that the bouncy house wasn't altogether evil. :)

She finally warmed back up to it after blowing out her candles and opening up some great gifts.

Thanks to all who came to celebrate with us. Abby Kate had a wonderful birthday!

It's my birthday! Yay!

Dressed and ready for my friends!

It takes hard concentration to blow out two candles.

Abby Kate and her friend learning how to use the noise-makers.

Bouncy fun!

Cupcakes for everyone!

The cake. Would you believe I made this? Shocker, I know!

We love you sweetheart!

She was very serious about her cupcake and on a
mission to eat it before someone took it from her!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Over the River and Through the Rain

Saturday morning was cold with a constant drizzle of rain just as the weather forecaster had predicted. My strained optimism had proved its fault, and I succumbed to the reality of running 6.2 long miles in the wind and rain. I had had high hopes of the beautiful views I would take in jogging over the Neuse River Bridge in downtown New Bern. The morning sun shining on the water. Fresh breezes. Blue skies. The beautiful sailboats floating in the harbor. [sigh] Those views are reserved for sunnier, happier mornings, I guess.

Mike drove me across the bridge to the neighboring town of Bayboro at 7:30 a.m. to drop me off at the starting line of this year's Neuse River Bridge 10K Run. I had a momentary weakness given my hatred of spending any amount of time outdoors while it's raining and thought I might change my mind, preferring to just go enjoy a cup of coffee instead. Then I quickly said "to heck with it, let's just get this over with!" and jumped out of the car.

When the horn blew, off I went, cursing myself for the entire first mile as I ducked my head into the blustering wind. Who in their right mind would willingly run over a bridge in the cold, rain and wind?! The guy running next to me must've felt the same as he grunted about the weather conditions and how he couldn't wait to get this over with. I agreed and said something about just wanting to hurry and get warm. And with that I sped up in hopes of getting my blood flowing faster and thus my body warmer.

I crossed the three mile marker at 23.5 minutes and feeling good. Water was dripping off the brim of my cap, and my pants, shoes and socks were soaked, but I had warmed up and felt I could finish with no problems. The only bad parts were the gusts of wind coming over the bridge and the exhaust from the cars passing by.

I crossed the finish line at 53:09 minutes and was happy to have shaved nearly four minutes off my last 10K time. Mike, AK and the Newbolds were waiting at the finish line. Thanks to you guys for waiting in the rain for me! Sarah had planned on running, too, but unfortunately she hurt her ankle pretty bad in our aerobics class earlier in the week, so Colin ran the 5K in her place. He finished 16th, running it in 21 minutes! Way to go, Colin!

All-in-all, I'm glad I ran in spite of the elements. And I'm also glad it's over!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

All in a Day's Work

A day filled with flying (and hovering) a super fast, $23 million jet. That's Mike in there during his first week of flights in the Harrier. He's in the front of the jet and his instructor is in the back. The trainer jets have seats for two pilots, but the one Mike will fly once he gets to the fleet will be only one seat. Mike loves flying the Harrier. We got to watch him take off, land and hover the jet a few times. We witnessed it from pretty far away, hence the grainy, zoomed in shot. The jets are so fast. We were really impressed. Mike has been doing great in his training so far. He works hard, but we've been blessed to have him home almost every night and sometimes during the day as well. We're so proud of you, Mike!


I caught this on tape weeks ago as we were about to get out of the car and go into her class ... this is how AK says 'gymnastics.' Her lisp is so funny. We love it... right now, anyway!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Randomness...

Mike took his first flight in the Harrier over a week ago. He LOVED it. We went out a few days later and caught him in action. Very fast. Very cool. More to come on that later once I have time to download my photos. But great job, honey! It's amazing what you get to do, and we're so proud of you!

I'm getting back to my routine this week and preparing for a 10K run this coming weekend. We'll be running over the bridge crossing the Neuse River in downtown New Bern. So it should be fun and picturesque (and hopefully not too windy!).

We've had some great weather lately. It's been perfect for company. More about that, too, later this week when I have time to download the photos from Mike's parents' visit.

We're gearing up for Abby Kate's second birthday later in the month and also for Halloween. Abby Kate will be buzzing around in her little bumble bee costume. Very cute.

I'll leave you with a few of AK's latest and darnedest:

AK: Wha you doin', Mommy? (she asks me what I'm doing EVERY time I'm in the bathroom getting ready)

Me: Putting gel in my hair.

AK: OH my GOODNESS! (her response to what I'm doing EVERY time, no matter if I say brushing my teeth or putting on my socks)

AK: [quizzical stare with pause] Mommy, are you gellin'?

Me: [laughing] Yeah, I'm gellin'. Are you gellin'?

AK: [Nothing but a blank stare.]

She must hate those stupid commercials as much as I do.


AK has learned to stand like a flamingo in gymnastics class. One day I offered her some of the new peach/mango juice we bought. Now she regularly asks for "fla-mango" juice.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Mommy, I'm a Pwinthith!"

You are, indeed, little one!
Abby Kate loves dress-up now. She's into fairy princesses and the like. She was having so much fun dancing around in this tutu I bought for her. And those necklaces - she wears them everywhere! I wish I still had some of my old dance recital costumes for her to wear. Mom, any chance you still have any of those?!

Beginnings of a curtsy, maybe?

For the record, this is AK's attempt at a pole climb, not a pole dance.