Thursday, November 24, 2011

Little Big Guy

On this Thanksgiving holiday, I am deeply humbled by the many blessings that our family has been recipients of during this past year.

But without a doubt, the greatest blessing our family received during 2011 was the arrival of a 7 lb, 10 oz bundle of complete joy that made his grand and speedy debut into our lives during the early hours of June 28th.

We love our little Nolan man beyond belief and we are so very grateful for him during this season of Thanksgiving.

Abby often asks me "What would we do without our little Nolan?" and I really don't know. We could not imagine our lives without him!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Little Mermaid

We found Abby wiggling around the floor like this one day and we asked her what she was doing.

"I'm a mermaid," she replied,
like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

What an imagination!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Little Donald Trump Gets the Snip!

We've been calling Nolan our "little Donald Trump" for a while because of the sweet looking combover look that he's been sporting lately. I really didn't want to cut his baby locks at only four months but it was definitely time. So last Saturday we pulled out the clippers to get the dirty job done.

"What are you doing with those things?!?!?"

"I don't think my hair is really THAT out of control..."

"On second thought..."

Jason got to work on cutting off all those cute but way too long baby locks while Nolan examined all the hair that was falling around him.

The finished look!!

Most of the dark hair is gone now so he's definitely more of a blondie which makes him fit right in with Abby and Landon. He looks super cute with his new "do" and it was definitely time to get rid of "The Donald!"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Marathoner in the Family!

On Saturday, November 12th, Jason ran in and completed his first marathon in Richmond, VA. He had a really good experience training and running with his friend, Jon and despite a few injuries and setbacks along the way, they both finished those long 26.2 miles!! This makes the second marathoner in our little family now (the third if you count Landon who ran the Richmond Marathon with me in the womb!!) Jason finished in just under 5 hours and is already talking about how he can improve with the next one. Oh boy, I think he's caught the bug of racing now. We may have to take turns with our different races now!!

I was so proud of him for accomplishing this lifelong goal of his. I have to admit though, that it was hard for me to be a spectator. I can't wait to get back out and do my own races again!!

And I'm not sure who was more tired by the end of the day...Jason who ran 26.2 miles or me who ran around with three kids trying to see him at different points along the way, battling road closures in an unknown city. Okay, okay I shouldn't complain...but I will anyway because here's how MY day went down...

6:30 a.m.: Get up and get all three kids ready, nurse the littlest one and head out the hotel door by 7 a.m. to drive Jason and Jon to the starting line

7:30 a.m.: Back to the hotel to pick up Jon's wife and their kids (they also have three kids, all very close in age to ours), feed all SIX kids their breakfast and head out to cheering spot #1 at the 10K mark in two different vehicles since two adults and SIX kids can't all fit into one!!

9:00 a.m.: Get lost in Richmond for the first of about a million times that day...have a GPS but it's not very helpful considering all of the road closures. Finally find the first cheering zone about 15 minutes after our husbands had already passed (FAIL #1)

9:30 a.m.: Head to the next cheering zone at the halfway point (13.1 miles) with what we think is PLENTY of time to get there. Get lost again and Landon starts his potty dance and whine in the backseat. We quickly find a grocery store, run to the bathroom at the back of the store and get Landon on the toilet just in time for him to pee all over the bathroom floor, his underpants and only pair of jeans that I have on me!! (Fortunately I did have a pull-up and pair of shorts in the diaper bag which is what he wore for the rest of the day. At least nobody called me a bad mother for having my child wear shorts on a cold day!!)

10:20 a.m.: Finally arrive at cheering zone #2 and after it takes us what seems like a million years to get six kids and all the cheering gear out of the car, we are about 100 feet away when we see our husbands run by (FAIL #2) I started screaming "JASON, JASON, Do you need anything" and fortunately they heard us and turned around so that they could dump all their cold weather gear off to us. (It was a miracle that we were at least able to see them before they completely passed us by so maybe I should call this FAIL #1.5!)

10:30 a.m.: Jon's wife and I make the executive decision based on what has occurred thus far to not try to see them at mile 20 but instead grab some lunch and head straight to the finish area. After nursing both of our babies, we head back out in a desperate attempt to find a place we could eat lunch and never find anything (FAIL #3). We finally give up and just head straight to the finish. Again we THOUGHT we had plenty of time to reach our destination but with all the one way streets, road closures and traffic in downtown Richmond, it was a complete nightmare. I heard the word "Recalculating" way too many times from my GPS but with the huge mess that was downtown, I couldn't follow it's innocent directions for the life of me!!

12:15 p.m.: In panic mode now, I say a quick prayer to help us find a parking garage near the finish so that we can finally end this traffic nightmare. Another little miracle happened and we finally found a place to park both vehicles!! We weren't sure exactly when they would be finishing but were so glad that we could finally exit the cars and start our wait for them at the finish line.

12:55 p.m.: We wait for about 45 minutes and cheer on lots of different runners as they near the finish line. The kids were really into it for the first 30 minutes or so and then they started to get a bit restless. Landon started to wander off down the street so I quickly walked over to reign him in. And in the 10 seconds that my back was turned trying to prevent a lost child, Jason passed us (FAIL #4...the biggest one of the day!!) ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?! When Jon's wife told me what had happened, it took everything I had to hold in all the tears of frustration from that entire morning. I grabbed all three kids and we walked the quarter of a mile to meet Jason after he came out from the finish area. I tried to be happy and supportive when I saw him but that lasted about 3 seconds before I broke down into tears and told him about our experiences that morning.

I definitely learned some very valuable lessons that day about what not to do when trying to spectate a marathon in a new city with three kids by yourself. I decided I needed to record the events of that morning to remind me why I can never do this to myself again!! By the end of it all, I definitely decided I would rather run the 26.2 miles than spectate in the chaos that we experienced that morning!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

If you were expecting a picture of Abby from the title of this post, you are sadly mistaken (although she is quite the sleeping beauty too!)

Sleeping babies are the best...especially when you are the one who gets to snuggle with them while they snooze!

Sure do love this little man!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


All day long these two little kids were so hyped up about going trick-or-treating. (Abby had the day off from school so the excitement was palpable literally ALL DAY LONG!!) Right before heading out the door, we had a little photo-shoot...

Abby as the Witch!!
(I think the main reason that she decided on this costume was because of the wig. She thought it was pretty cool to be sporting black hair that night!!)

The crazy twosome together...

And the cutest little Dumbo that you'll ever see...

Complete with flapping ears and all!!

And of course we can't forget about our little "BAT-MAN!"

We ended up hitting just about every house in our neighborhood which took us about 90 minutes. The weather was actually warmer than we thought it would be so we took advantage of it!!

This was how Nolan spent the majority of the evening!!

Just a portion of our candy haul that night!! They got REALLY good candy in my opinion (mostly chocolate candy bars!!) But Abby did complain that she didn't get more gum and suckers!! (Someday she'll learn about what the good stuff really is!!)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 7, 2011

Little Monster

I found this cute little monster outfit at Target and knew who it was perfect for...

Our little Nolan Monster!!

Actually, he's about as polar opposite from a monster as a baby could be, but he still looked adorable!! (Target is a dangerous place for me. It seems like every time I go, my one or two items that I'm there to pick up turn into 10-15!!...Does anyone else have this problem???)

I just love his expressions in these pictures!!

"Hey, too much flash from my paparazzi mom..."

"See, I'm not really a monster. I've already learned how to fold my hands!"

"Uhhh...not so sure about this!"

"I love to do the "touchdown" dance for my daddy's entertainment!"
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 6, 2011


It's beginning to look a lot like....Halloween!!!

On the Saturday before Halloween, much of the East Coast was pelted with a very early fluke snowstorm. In the five winters that we have lived here, we have never seen snow before December so this was certainly strange to have snow before Halloween. The day before I mowed the lawn and we all enjoyed a typical fall day, then we had snow fall ALL DAY LONG on Saturday. When all was said and done, we ended up getting about 3 inches of snow!

Just enough to make a snow man!!

I am not a huge fan of winter so I admit I wasn't thrilled about having snow this early, but it was fun to see the kids enjoying it so much!! At least it all melted by the next day and we are back to enjoying some normal fall weather again.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Painting

On the Monday before Halloween, our FHE activity was to paint our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. We have insanely tried carving our pumpkins in years past, but I have to admit that with small children, painting is definitely the way to go (Plus our pumpkins still look nice sitting on our front porch, unlike the rotting carved pumpkins seen everywhere else!!)

Abby and Landon both enjoyed creating their pumpkin masterpieces and really got into the whole experience. Landon painted a nice picture of....who knows, but he had fun which was the most important part. Abby drew a nice face on hers and 10 minutes from start to finish we were done with very little clean-up involved.

I still love the look of carved pumpkins so I know that someday we'll get out those knives, but for this year at least, paint was a great alternative!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our First Garden...From Beginning to End

Last May, we planted our first "real" garden. We had done some previous container gardening in the homes that we rented before this one, but this was our first official, raised-bed garden. We weren't quite sure how everything would turn out, but we planted with faith, hoping that we would reap some benefits in the form of yummy vegetables throughout the summer...

It started off small in the beginning...

But within just a month, we started to see some major progress...
And all of the effort that Jason put into keeping our garden this summer paid off big time. It was wonderful to have fresh tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and even a few onions for the last four months. We ate a ton, canned a bunch and gave a whole lot away!!

But alas, all good things must come to an end and so it was with our garden. Our fluke snowstorm last weekend (more on that later) officially ended our bounteous garden production this year.

It was kind of sad taking down these beautiful plants, but at least Abby enjoyed catching some air while jumping on the remnants.

We definitely learned a lot about gardening this year and we'll be anxious to put our green thumbs to work again come Spring!!