Monday, October 27, 2008

I know it seems like everyone we know is taking their kid to the pumpkin patch and making them pose and do all this stupid stuff in a field of pumpkins. We didn't want to be one of those people...and we really weren't, at least I'd like to think we weren't. Sweet Baby Aiden really did ask Nathan to take him to the pumpkin patch, yes, he is speaking quite audibly at 3 months. So we obliged his request and off we went. Lucky for us, we live across the street from a farm and there was a bevy of activity for the Fall season occurring there, so we just drove across the street and did our pumpkin patch thing. Yes, we live across the street from a farm, with cows, and fields of corn, and apparently piles of pumpkins, too! Craziness. But oh how I love it!

We did NOT dress him up...
We did NOT force him to lie in a collection of pumpkins...
We did, however, see lots of silly parents doing this to their poor unsuspecting babies and it made me so glad we refrained!

It was so cute...and so cold, but it was fun nonetheless. We took a few pictures in the pumpkin fields, walked around, and did the hayride. We skipped on the corn maze since Aiden was tired and can't really enjoy much more than the basics anyway. Regardless, it was a fun day and one we'll remember...not sure Aiden will, but we have pictures to remind him! You can see all the pictures from our visit by clicking here...but here are a few to capture the essence of the day.

Our best attempt at a family photo while riding on the hayride.

Sweet boys of mine.

A confused Aiden on the hayride...pretty lake on the farm.

Me and my cuddly boy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Catching up

I have been so totally out of the loop with writing the past few weeks...but so much has gone on that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed just thinking about catching up. So instead of writing one hugely long blog about it all, I'm going to do my best to just write "quickies" to catch up...I know, quickie and Kara in the same sentence just doesn't add up. But I really will try. :)

My Uncle Wayne came to visit a few weeks ago, and that was really part because he is the first of the Poage clan to meet Aiden. This is really old news, but I forgot to write about it earlier, so I wanted to make sure we captured it before I forgot. He was in town visiting a college about an hour from our house, so he came out for dinner, spent the night, and headed back to Texas. It was really fun to hear his stories (he shared lots about growing up with my mom!), and catch up since we hadn't seen him since Christmas. Good times.

Aiden turned three months the week he came to visit and we had his little photo shoot the next day, so that was a fun and busy week, but well worth the long days and nights. Here's a few pictures from his visit. You can see more by clicking here.

Wayne with my mom (his older sister!) me, Nate, and the boy.

It's been a while since Uncle Wayne's held a baby (his kids are almost all out of the house now!) but he still looks like a natural!

Wayne with my neighbor Bridget, her daughter Reagan (who LOVES Baby "Ainen"), and me with the boy.

Mom and Wayne with little Aiden...loves his hands!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This morning Jessica drove through town on a trip from Pennsylvania, where she is in school, to Texas, where she was attending a conference. Though it was an early morning, and I do mean EARLY (like 6:30 am), it was well worth it for her to be able to meet Baby Aiden for the first time.

We met at the of our favorites (as you well know from past posts) and had a lovely breakfast before sending her on her merry way with her van of friends and before sending ourselve home to finish sleeping!

It was fun, and memorable...we're so glad she was able to go through town for such a random event, but it was great timing. And we got some great memories captured, mostly in our minds, but a few on film. You can see them here. Here's a little glimpse.

Our little family and Aunt Jessica!

Sweetness covered in Carolina Blue...not my choice, but they look cute!

So sweet.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am really late in putting this up here, but we had Aiden's three month pictures taken. We're having four picture sessions taken over the course of his first year and will create a panel of images with the four sessions, but will obviously order a few from each month's capture as well. There is an online gallery of photos, but it's only available for two weeks from the posting date. Sadly enough, as I write this nearly a week has passed, but it will still be available until October 29. So if you're reading this after that, they are more than likely down. But I just had to share how CUTE my little one is!! :)

We actually discovered he had an ear infection the same afternoon of this morning session, but they still turned out well considering. So here's my little cutie in his 3-month glory!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Busy Weekend

The Auburn vs. Vanderbilt game was this weekend, so Nate's friend Parker (who was in our wedding) and his girlfriend Meghan headed up from Atlanta (or as we say, Hotlanta) to stay with us and go to the game. They arrived on Friday night and we all went to dinner at SOL in Downtown Franklin, which is kind of upscale Mexican. We luckily had a babysitter (my Mom) in town for the weekend so we were able to go sans Aiden, which is a nice treat every now and then and helps us feel like we still have a life. SOL has great food and a fun atmosphere, but the service leaves something to be desired. I always say I won't go back, nearly every time we go, but somehow the amazing guacomole pulls me back in every time. Oh well. Mexican is just so hard to turn down.

Saturday we went to breakfast at the Mercantile, which is also in downtown Franklin. We love this spot and frequent it least once a week. It's so good and they make all their food right in the moment. They have live music on the weekends, a fantastic lunch menu, and good for you breakfast all at reasonable prices. If you're ever here, you have to go. Eat the Heaven Cake if you do. I've blogged about this before, and all I'll say is that it is pure Heaven. After walking around for a bit in downtown, we headed back to clean up before they headed to the game. Nate and I had other plans...Willie we went our separate ways.

Willie Nelson was awesome! It was a sold out show that took place out in a field (a farm actually) in Leiper's Fork, TN about 6 miles from the house. We drove out there as it was approaching sunset and it was simply amazing. We passed by farm after farm until reaching The Preston Farm, where the concert was. We parked in the field, walked through the field to the show, sat in our chair in the field, and chilled out (literally, it got cold!) to Willie. Our neighborhood got preferential treatment and a huge block of tickets for the event, so it was nice to see some neighbors, meet some neighbors, and be out of our norm. About three songs into it, though, we could smell the "good stuff" floating around...too funny.

We went from there to meet up with Parker and Meghan (defeated by the Auburn loss to Vandy) at Tin Roof 2 for dinner. Soooo good. Sunday morning was about rest (as well it should be) and they headed out after a quick breakfast.

My good friend Beth was in town with her little boy Ryder, who is 3 months older than Aiden. They hadn't met yet, so Beth, Ryder, and her friend Kirsten came over Sunday afternoon to hang out, catch up, and let our little dudes meet for the first time. It was great - both catching up with Beth and watching the two boys ogle over one another. Aiden hasn't met another baby that close in age yet, so it was really funny to watch the two of made me sad, too, because I so miss Beth and just know if we lived in the same town still Aiden and Ryder would grow up good little buddies. But they are in Texas, closer to their families, and we all know the value of that with newborns.

Needless to say, it was a long week, a long weekend, and it felt good to really rest Sunday night when it all was said and done. On to another week...I think this post is too long for pictures, so you can see them all here.

This week I started back to work. If ANY of you have seen or heard or read about the news, you know that I picked a mighty fine week to return. First, it was this, then it was this, then this! So going back to work went from a really fun and exciting thing to not knowing if I'd have a job on day two of my return, to not knowing what the heck is going on. And for those that know what I do, you know I work in merger, so this now means going back to work will be insanely busy. As if going back after a 12-week hiatus didn't bring enough craziness to my life, now we have a huge project on our hands. Needless to say, it should be interesting. No doubt if you don't get your info from the news, you'll hear at least a smidgen from me...I can only say so much you know!

After starting back to work on Wednesday and pushing through a short, but insane, week back, we had company in town for the weekend for the Auburn vs. Vanderbilt game, which made a busy week back even busier prepping for them to come and then getting my act together before another full week back.

It's a new thing for me, being back to work. And it's brought all kinds of things to the surface that I didn't fully anticipate. The first day I went back, I balled my eyes out that night. I was so sad I had left Aiden all day long and only saw him for his bath and bedtime. I felt so terrible as a mother to have done this to my little boy. I felt so empty from being away from him all day when I've spent every minute with him for the past 3 months. Needless to say, it was much harder on me emotionally than I ever anticipated it being, and the drama at work only made it worse. The days that followed were a bit better, but man, do I miss that boy. I sit and look at his little picture on my desk and tear up just thinking about it, realizing I have so much wrapped up in him that I can hardly describe it all. I can't.

It did make me so aware of my situation, and of my need to really ask what I want out of this whole thing - motherhood, work, wife, life. The answer at the end of the day is freedom. While I can't have that now, it is the goal, and if working during these years will get me to that place in just a few, I'm so willing to do it. I really enjoy what I do. I love it. I love my boss, I love my work, I enjoy the people I work with, I enjoy being challenged, and being good at what I do, I love learning...I really do get a lot out of it. It doesn't mean I love being a mom any less, but it does make me realize the value of both and the impact they have not only on me but on my family. It has caused me to evaluate and take stock in MY needs, emotions, feelings, and dreams, and to do what I can to live out of those....pursuing God's heart for me as I head into this new path of my life. All in all, it's been a challenging week, but a super week at the same time. If my mom hadn't been here I think I would have gone clinicallly insane and ended up in some sort of facility this weekend instead of hanging out with friends, but we all made it.

So there's lots to update on since I last wrote about Aiden sleeping for 11 hours, and sometimes even 12, which has continued despite a few unplanned interruptions. Over the past two weeks, Aiden got his first little cold (from the next door neighbor), I added another year onto my life (and took my last step into my 20's before heading into 30 years), had Parker and Meghan come visit, saw Willie Nelson in concert, visited with my great friend Beth (formerly a Nashvillian now residing in Austin with her 6-month old and hubby), and started back to work. As you might imagine, it's been rather full, and I haven't had the time to sit down and write, so I'm trying my best to catch up now. I have lots to say about the events, so hopefully we'll catch up one note at a time...stay tuned.

I'll just jot briefly about Aiden's first little cold, which hasn't been so fun. Poor little guy got cough and runny nose from the dumb girl next door who told me she'd washed her hands. Lesson learned: never believe a 12 year old when it comes to hand-washing. She wasn't sick at the time, but a few days later we heard she was laid up in bed. It was too late for Baby Aiden, though, who had a cough all night that same night. Poor little guy. So the cough became a runny nose, and off we were to buy a humidifier and saline drops. That little blue sucker from the hospital finally saw some good use, sad but true.

To add insult to injury the cold came down two nights before my birthday, so Thursday and Friday (b-day) were pretty much a bust and spent caring for my ailing little boy who had trouble sleeping (right after we'd hit our stride!) and couldn't breathe worth a lick. Anyway, I spent my birthday on the couch holding him upright so he could sleep and was really fun-filled.

BUT, my parents arrived that evening after Aiden went to bed to give Nate and I the chance to go out to dinner, which is always a nice treat no matter when it is, but especially on a birthday. So we went to our usual spot then came home for cake and ice cream and gifts. They stayed the remainder of the weekend and we had a great time, even though we all spent our time helping the little guy feel better. Mom stayed with us for the week after for me to have a helper for my start back to work...and that was that.

Now I'm 29 and one year closer to 30. No, I don't feel any different. Yes, I do hate odd-numbered years. Hopefully this will be a good one. Regardless, I'm entering into this year with the best gift ever - Aiden - and a whole new set of rules for myself as I walk into motherhood. Should be an adventure to say the least. One I'm glad and excited to be on with Nate by my side and Aiden on my hip. We'll see. I'll get some pictures up soon. Promise.