Thursday, November 26, 2009

We kicked our Thanksgiving festivities by rewarding ourselves with some much needed time off. Saturday prior to the big feast, we headed to my parents house to spend the week with them since it'd been a while since we last spent some time together. It was great to know we'd be able to spend some good quality time with family, while also getting some rest! Plus, my dad's parents (my grandparents and Aiden's great-grandparents) from Michigan were coming to visit and they have only met Aiden one time, when he was three months old, and he's obviously changed a LOT since then!

We had a great weekend and enjoyed some gorgeous weather. Nate and I headed out Monday for a day trip to Atlanta in search of baby gear and a big boy bed for Aiden's new room. While we didn't have any luck, we did get to grab a quick bite to eat with some good friends, Meghan and Parker, and celebrate an early Thanksgiving with friends we are so grateful for!

Back to Knoxville for the grandparents arrival on Tuesday and Wednesday we took an afternoon trip to the Festival of Trees led us to Aiden's first carousel ride. He liked it a lot! A fun day overall as we continued to get the food ready for Thursday's feast! Thanksgiving morning Nate, my dad, and me all went to run a Turkey Trot (an annual tradition for us!) and a six month pregnant me actually won my age group! Woo Hoo! My dad won his age group as well, so we took home some great prizes (cool water bottles) and lots of pride. Nathan got a PR in the 5k, which was a huge accomplishment also. And back we scurried for some fresh, hot out of the oven, homemade cinnamon rolls! Boy, do I love that treat after a good run.

The Thanksgiving feast was amazing and not much could have topped it. We had a great time celebrating and sharing our "thankfuls" which are always so numerous year after year. The rest of the weekend flew by and before I knew it we were home and had a Christmas tree on top of our rental car. We were definitely a site to behold with a car stuffed full of people and goodies and a big tree on top. But we are ready for Christmas! Here's a few pictures from the weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So, I entered my sweet Aiden into another modeling contest for the cutest kid ever. And despite my desire to have him win on my own, I can't enter 1,000 times a day, so I'm asking you to vote for him. I entered under two aliases to increase his exposure. :) So, here's my shameless plug.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This weekend we had plans to attend a 30th birthday (surprise) for Nathan's friend, Phillip. Phillip was Nathan's best man at our wedding. He actually bought his engagement ring the weekend of our nuptials and proposed to his bride, Fran, shortly thereafter. They came to surprise Nathan for HIS 30th birthday 18 months ago and drove from their home in Birmingham to meet baby Aiden shortly after he was born. Only to announce they were expecting themselves!! The happy couple are now living with their 9-month old daughter, Lucy, in Pensacola, Florida. What this means is that we don't see them nearly as often as we'd like. We keep up with them via their family blog, Life Of Skipper.

His party was a fun adventure to Talladega, Alabama to take part in the Dale Jarrett Racing Experience. Six laps around a world-renown race track is a pretty awesome gift. Much less to be surprised by 30 of your closest friends cheering you on while you race.

Our plan was to drop Aiden off with my parents on Friday afternoon and then drive the 4-hour trek to the track the following morning; however, my little boogs had his own plan and came down with a slight case of bronchitis, which made it look like Mom was going to be staying home with him that day while Dad went to represent for our family at the party. At the last minute on Friday, though, we got word that we might have a place to stay in Birmingham for the night, making our drive only an hour in the morning (WAY better for Aiden!). So we talked about it and decided we should all go see them and if Aiden didn't feel well, I would just stay in B-ham with him.

What an amazing gift to be given. The stay worked out perfectly. Aiden slept almost the entire trip down in the car, then we were able to spend some QT with old friends, Kari and Andrew (and Quincy), whom we hadn't seen since our wedding. It was a miracle on so many levels. The following morning, time was given when we thought there would be none in order for us to spend just a few more hours together before we departed on our journey to the speedway. We relished in our hours together and were able to catch up on things from the past 4 years of our lives, sharing the ins and outs of so many itty bitty pieces of so many things. So many times I caught myself thinking, "Wow, I am really here. Wow. I really love this girl. Wow. God is so good. To not be a "true" part of one another's lives the past 4 years and to be given a gift like this is truly a miracle." It was really worth the "risk."

Off we went to the speedway for an afternoon in the infield.

It was great to see Phillip and his family. To meet Lucy. To catch up with some of Nathan's old college friends who we just don't see nearly as often as we'd like. A great, great trip overall. We headed back to Nashvegas late that afternoon and Aiden did great in the car despite the 4 hour drive. Such a great little guy! We recovered all day Sunday and got some things done around the house that had been lingering for quite some time. All in all a very successful weekend and one we will remember for quite some time. Here are a few pictures from the day.

The fam in B-ham before we headed off to the speedway. Nathan with some of his college buddies.
Aiden playing with Lucy and sharing!
Phillip getting into his racecar.
Aiden loved feeling everyone's beards!! So funny.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

...mystery. We still don't know. Boo. The baby decided to have crossed legs during the entire 40 minutes I was on the table. So, the consensus from most everyone who is putting their bets down is that it is a girl, and the ultrasound tech said it could be, but is not 100% either way. I did get some great video footage, which is quite amazing, but no certainty on the sex of the baby quite yet. I will go back on November 30 for another look to try and be clear. The control freak part of me has to know for SURE before I start doing anything. I won't go pink crazy either way. Promises there.

I am not sure why, but I wanted to know so much more with this pregnancy than I did with my first and that one was just as much of a surprise. Go figure. Maybe now it's because I DON'T know that I want to know even more. And 26 days is a long time to wait for another look! Oh, well. God is teaching me patience not only in this area of my life, but in SO MANY OTHERS...almost too many to count. And while I am thankful for the growth, it's not always the easiest thing to endure. But there is hope. And beauty on the other side. For that, I am willing to wait.

Monday, November 2, 2009

One of my birthday gifts from my awesome Hubs was a Hot Air Balloon ride over the beautiful countryside we call home. It is one of the things on my 30 things to do before I'm 30. And even though the date we "sailed" was just over a month after the actual day, the wait was incredibly worth it. It was an experience (and gift) I will not soon forget.
Our little balloon traveled from Brentwood to Columbia, which takes about 25 minutes (max) in a car and took us about an hour and a half. We hovered between 1,200 and 4,000 feet above the areas of Brentwood, Franklin, and Columbia in our journey and saw some of the most amazing colors, homes, landscapes, beautiful farm country, and even our neighborhood (off in the horizon). We landed amidst an amazing fall sunset on the clearest day in quite a while. Not a cloud in the sky.
And anyone scared of heights that has used this as an excuse to not to do such a great ride, should reconsider. You don't feel a falling sensation one bit. You don't blow back and forth in the wind. It is one of the most relaxing and spectacular things you can experience. It's like the perfect drug...without any side effects other than maybe landing in a farmer's plot of land who happens to have a gun. Luckily, this did not happen to us.
Thank you, Nathan, for such a great gift and special day to share with you. I love this memory and will cherish it forever. I can't wait to do it again. :)