Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Extra Love for Daddy This Christmas

We are gearing up for a trip to Kentucky this Christmas! We're driving up tomorrow after Mike gets off work, and we are very excited to see family and friends. Abby Kate is intent upon making sure we have cookies made and a note to leave for Santa. Will he visit Mimi and Pawpaw's house? Will he know she'll be there? We've assured her that, yes, he will know where she is, and as long as she's a really good girl he'll bring her the one and only thing she wants for Christmas: Taylor Swift music. I know. Weird for a 3-year-old! But she LOVES her songs. Even though she gets the words all wrong - which I'm sort of happy about because they're not completely G-rated!

This Christmas is bittersweet for AK, Avery and me because next year Daddy won't be here for the holidays. We recently found out Mike will be deploying next Fall and will be based on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean for seven months. That will be very hard for our family, but we are trying to concentrate on the fact that he is here now, and we're going to soak him up until he leaves.

We are praying for all those families with military men and women overseas this Christmas!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Thanksgiving in Texas

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday with Mike's family in Tyler, TX. It was a great visit and wonderful to see all the grandchildren together. Five now! We spent time relaxing on the ranch, eating, playing with the kids, shopping and Christmas tree cutting. Thanks to the Wallaces for having us!

Here's an attempt at a shot of all the grandkids. They were squirmy little worms!

Since we got back, I feel like I have no time to get anything done. And there's so much to do! This time of year is always so hectic, and I am not organized in the least. So I've clearly been slacking on the blog posts. Not to mention I still haven't even designed a birth announcement for Avery and she's almost four months old. Anyhow, I hope to post pics of our Christmas decorating soon. And I guess we'd have to actually decorate before I can do that!

OK, more soon. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Young Fan

"When you're FIF-teee-een / Somebody tells you they love you / You gotta believe them"

This is what Abby Kate spontaneously sang out while sitting on the couch today. Mike and I looked at each other, unbelieving, and just started laughing. Those words sound really funny coming out of a three year old. Anytime a Taylor Swift song comes on the radio in the car, after only a few beats of the music, she knows it's her "lady song" (which is what she calls all of Taylor Swift's songs).

So I guess Taylor has fans of all ages... kudos to her for all her CMA awards!

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Abby Kate was one of her favorite princesses for Halloween (Sleeping Beauty). She made it about a 1/4 mile in those shoes before donning pink boots for the rest of her trick-or-treating excursion in our friends' neighborhood. She scored lots of suckers and chocolate. I helped her eat the chocolate because I'm such a good mommy like that. :) Mike was gone most of October, so he missed Halloween again this year. But we were excited to welcome him home last Monday. We love having Daddy home again!

Avery was a pink cheetah, but I didn't get a good picture. So here's a recent one of her... she is getting much more animated and is the sweetest thing ever. She is growing so fast. She continues to be in the 50th percentiles for all her measurements. She still spits up all the time, but it doesn't seem to affect her weight. She continues to sleep like an angel (12 hours a night since she was 8 weeks!). BLISS!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Random AK Quotes

Apparently Abby Kate has thought all along that "grilled cheese" was "girl cheese" because yesterday we were sitting at Andy's burger restaurant and she said she wanted a BIG girl cheese sandwich.

There was this huge, fat fly buzzing around our house. It was flying real slow and was really loud because it was so big. And especially annoying. Abby Kate said, Mommy, you better go get the flash water. I started to correct her and it took me a few seconds to think of the right term after she jumbled it up so much. Fly Swatter - right.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Three Already?!

Dear Abby Kate

I'm astounded at how much a child can grow and change in three years. Amazing. It's bittersweet because I adore the young girl you're becoming, but I'm going to miss your sweet baby-ness so much. And you just keeping getting more and more grown-up-looking and -sounding. Three years ago today I held your beautiful and precious life in my hands for the first time. And it's all gone by way too fast. Can't we just stay still for a little while?

You are my beautiful, little girl who I love beyond what I can say or write. You are so sweet and funny and just too smart. I could watch you play make-believe all day long. And I don't mind one bit that you correct me 20 times a day. (OK, it's a TRIcycle, not a BIcycle - sorry, you're right.) Your jovial personality and constant laughter keep us smiling. I love how great you are with Avery. You are the biggest helper! She will grow to love you so much. I am simply overflowing with love and pride for you. I thank God that He gave us you... we love you always.

Happy birthday, sweet girl.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Hard Goodbye

Yesterday we spent the day at our friends', the Newbolds', house helping them box up and load all their possessions into a huge moving truck parked outside their house. Minute by minute, the house got emptier and my heart seemed to do the same. But we couldn't chain them down :) ... so Colin, Sarah, Eden, Maren and their dog Grace are on their way to Yuma, AZ, where Colin will be stationed as a Harrier pilot for the next few years.

We met the Newbolds back in Virginia when Mike first joined the Marine Corps and we moved from there to Florida to Mississippi to North Carolina together over the last three years. Sarah and I had Maren and AK within weeks of each other, and our three girls became the best of friends. (I'm just sorry Avery won't grow up so closely with them.) Our time here in NC together was especially fun and memorable. Our families get along so well and we have so much in common. We will miss them terribly! It was so hard to say goodbye and even more difficult to watch our girls hug and say their goodbyes. In fact, when I told AK that Eden and Maren were moving, she simply said, "well, I better start packing." :)

Thank you, Colin and Sarah, for sharing your lives and your girls with us and for being such great friends and, well, our family here. Sarah, thank you for all the support you've given me. You are such a wonderful mom and friend and I've learned so much from you. I love you, and I'm so sad you left.

You guys will be in our thoughts and prayers as always. We wish you an easy and painless move and the best of luck in Yuma! We are looking forward to future visits!!!

One last playdate for the girls.

And one last dinner together at our house.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Picture Post

Since I haven't had time to post as much as I want about recent happenings with our family, I'm going to try to catch up with a post full of pictures.

Mike's parents came in August to meet Avery.

Mike brother CJ and his family came shortly after. We met our sweet little nephew, David. We took a trip to the beach. Luke and AK had a great time. And it was a first for Avery and David.

Mike holding baby David.

Uncle Bill meets his newest neice.

Mike was promoted to Captain in early October. Congrats, hon!

During my visit home last week, I met my new nephew. Here's AK and Avery with cousins William and Austin.

Mimi and Pawpaw with their two youngest grandchildren.

We made a trip to the pumpkin patch at Huber's Farm in Indiana.

Avery is such a happy baby! She smiles all the time now.

We met Lyndsay's son Eli. He's a doll. He and Avery are only 14 hours apart!

Uncle Brian meets his newest neice.

Avery met Mawmaw, her great-grandmother while we were home.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nine Hours!

Nine hours of uninterrupted slumber!!! Thank you, Avery! Here's hoping tonight goes as well.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Still Here

Mike has been in Maine for training, so the girls, Junah and I traveled to Kentucky on Monday. We have been enjoying a week spent with my family. Dad, Brian and Carrie got to meet Avery for the first time and we met my nephew, Austin (7 weeks old). He's adorable! It's been great but the week has flown by, as always, and I haven't had time to see everyone.

We're going to have a birthday party for Abby Kate on Sunday, although her birthday isn't until the 26th. It'll be the first family birthday she's had. My grandmother and some of my aunts and uncles and cousins are all going to come and celebrate with us. It'll be great! Pictures to come!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back from Traveling the World

Disney World, that is. It was a very impromptu trip and It. Was. Fantastic!!! We spent 5 days touring the parks, meeting/dining with Disney characters, riding rides, seeing shows and swimming. We arrived at our resort on Thursday, unpacked our bags and then headed straight for the Magic Kingdom. I couldn't wait for Abby Kate to see Cinderella's castle. She was even more amazed than I thought she'd be when she first saw it. She just kept staring in awe and holding her hand out as if to present the castle to us. We met the princesses soon after. That was her favorite part of the whole trip, I think. She had this sweet look of complete adoration that I'll never forget.

Avery was there, too, but she spent the days tucked away sleeping in the Baby Bjorn or stroller. She was an angel! I had a few doubts about taking her, but it couldn't have gone any better.

There's so much to tell, so I'll just let the pictures do the job:

Meeting Ariel.

We stayed at Coronado Springs. It was beautiful!

AK's favorite.

Avery took plenty of 'rides' in the Baby Bjorn.

Meeting June from the Little Einsteins.

My standard picture in front of "Casey's." It's a restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. You could probably mark my growth from childhood to now with as many pictures I've taken below this sign.

AK trying to get Avery into the spirit of Disney. This balloon is still full of air and entertaining Abby Kate even now that we're home. Good thing, because it cost us $10!!!

The trip was truly magical for Abby Kate. We had such a great time and loved watching her experience it. Avery obviously won't remember it, but we're certain we'll take them both back in a few years.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Avery's First Month

Avery had her 1-month check-up yesterday. Abby Kate and I took her to the doctor and were delighted to hear she is growing and healthy. She's gained nearly three pounds since her birth! And she's also grown a couple of inches. She weighs 8 lbs, 10 oz and is 21.5 inches. I had one concern for the doctor - her spit-up problem. She spits up quite a bit every time I feed her. But the pediatrician assured me that it's more of a laundry inconvenience than a health issue since she is gaining weight and she's not in any pain.

Avery is growing more alert everyday and is eating and sleeping very well. She is pretty content for the most part. I attribute it to the Babywise schedule. We went back to church for the first time since her birth this past Sunday and she was a sleeping angel through the service! We had fun introducing her to everyone.

Abby Kate continues to be great with her. She is still so helpful and doesn't show one bit of jealousy. I am so proud of her. Avery couldn't have asked for a better big sister!

We have been very busy with a visit from Mike's parents, and then Mike's brother and his family came to visit for a few days after that. I have pictures to post from that, but right now we are busy packing for our trip to Disney World! We planned it very last-minute and we leave tomorrow for almost a week. Abby Kate is beside herself with excitement at the idea of meeting the princesses and all the Disney characters. Avery has no clue, of course (and may very well be the youngest person at Disney World) but she'll get to take some nice outdoor naps for a few days in her stroller and in the Baby Bjorn. So... many updates and fun pictures to come!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Mike in the Harrier

Getting some gas.

Getting ready for the vertical landing.


Last week I finally got to see my husband do his thing in the Harrier. It was awesome! They let us come right up next to the runway to watch and take pictures. I was standing just a few feet away! I saw him practice vertical landings and a few takeoffs. So cool. And so loud. My eardrums wouldn't have survived it without earplugs. (I also have video, but I need to purchase a new cord to download it since I got a new computer.)