Monday, December 27, 2010

This year we introduced Aiden to the joy and fun that is "Elf on the Shelf" - he was beyond thrilled to have something new to keep him entertained and I'm sure even more thrilled that someone else (besides mom, dad, Taylor, and Teagan) were keeping their eyes on him to make sure he was being a "sweet boy." We, well, he actually, named him Dax. Whether or not he'll remember this for twelve months and name him the same thing again next year remains to be seen. But the funny part of this is he also dubbed the movie ELF, DAX, not ELF.  So far, that is still sticking.

It was exciting to watch the anticipation of Christmas bloom over the course of the week building up to Saturday. We had a great time wrapping presents, baking, playing, and gearing up for the weekend visit with my family. Our newest family tradition, pajamas for the family, was enhanced this year by monograms on each with our kid-given names (Daddy, Mommy, Mimi, Paaa, Uncle B, etc.). So that was a fun treat. We opened those on Christmas Eve so we could all be in matching like fashion for the big day. And the big day was fun. Opening presents with kids is the lasted almost the whole day! To see bright eyes, excitement, wonder, curiosity, and so much joy exude from their little bodies is so much fun to watch. The very best part of Christmas for sure. We had a great brunch - cinnamon rolls, egg casserole, fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola parfaits, and of course, LOTS of coffee. :)

All in all this was my most favorite Christmas yet. Not because of what I got, which may or may not have included the bomb Kate Spade bag from my hubs!!!!, but because of what we were able to see from our parent's eye view. What a truly amazing gift it is. I love my kids and can't wait for them to explore the true meaning of Christmas each and every year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

H-town Down

Well, Poage, actually, but Down sounded better. After a whirlwind of a November, we had another few busy weeks ahead culminating in a trip to Texas for my cousin's wedding, followed by Christmas.  We haven't flown with both kids yet and were nervous about the outcome given all the "possibilities" for failure when it comes to the three A's: airports, airplanes, altitude. Needless to say, no one needed to give us any convincing it would be a challenge, so we prepared ourselves accordingly. To be honest, the worst part (being on the other side) is the packing...I mean kids need a lot of things and the things they MIGHT need are what really get you when you're packing for a trip away. After the bags were packed, I think I was wiped enough. Regardless, we actually made it to the airport way on time, which is a huge feat when Nathan's driving. We made it through food, too! We boarded in early fashion (one great perk of traveling with kids)...and headed up and away for our Texas adventure. And the kids did amazing. Aiden didn't fuss once, but was thoroughly entertained by the games and movies on the iPad...and the people he met, of course. And Teagan did superb, only making a slight peep when her ears began to pop. Amazing kids, my two. I have to say I was a proud mom. Proud to not be "that family" on the plane with "those kids" making everyone else sigh and hate the day they were born. Plus, plus!

After barely surviving Houston traffic to get to our hotel, we bedded the kids for their naps and got ready for the rehearsal dinner that night. It was great catching up with family and we had some amazing food and excellent cake of Oscar, a huge dog my cousin Carter has (but will not have after he gets married!).

The next day was December 18 - not only the day Carter was getting married, but the day my baby girl turned 9 months old. Where the time went I still don't know, but gone, gone it is. No longer are her baby hands so tiny it's hard to believe they're real. No longer is her hair barely there. No longer does she need me at every breath. While it is such a gift to watch them grow up, it is such a torture to watch it as well.  How little they are and how big they become. And the bigger they are, the more of our hearts they take with them. Oh, I dread the day she gets married. And the same for Aiden, too. How I hope I have the heart to handle it. Even being at Carter's wedding I found myself crying at every interval. I can only imagine what that will be like when it is my own flesh and blood I am giving away to do this life thing with someone else. I wait in joyous anticipation, but also anxious abandon.

My dad and I went running in Memorial Park. It was a great day for it - sunny, mild, no humidity, and people bustling about the park in every fashion imaginable. It was fun and a great day. Then off to the wedding. It was a quick ceremony and light reception. The kids were the hit of the party!

Teagan my little princess!

Me with my precious grandparents.

My blue-lipped stud (guess who raided the candy!)
We enjoyed the "candy bar" and then headed off to put the wiped kiddos in bed. Nathan and I went and walked around the Galleria for a while and had a fun time people watching and just spending some quality time together in another city. It's always fun.

On the way home! 
After a quick breakfast with everyone on Sunday, we spent the rest of the day relaxing, eating yummy Mexican and stuffing our faces with Sprinkles cupcakes before we packed up to do the flight thing all over again on Monday.

Finally back in TN, it's now time to get unpacked (my LEAST favorite part of any trip!) and get ready for Christmas in a few days! Can't wait to see my kids faces.
Tired boy chillin with Paaa.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween is upon us already...which means two things: lots of candy and November is almost here. Both of which are equally exciting! The weekend started off fun...I decided to do a last minute 5k race Saturday morning just for the heck of it. Mom and Dad were heading in from Knoxville for the weekend so they met us there and cheered me on while they helped Daddy with the kids. Even though I managed to hit my same PR that I feel I hit every time, it was a fun time and great to have the support. Second in my age group isn't half bad for not running much in the past few weeks. We ventured off to lunch at Panera and a trip to Trader Joe's (which we all love) before heading home for the kiddos naps! The afternoon was filled with relaxing and playing outside and a quick trip to the Pearl Street Pumpkin Path in our neighborhood - games, activities, playgrounds, and a pumpkin carving contest. It was fun! We all headed off to an early dinner at Pueblo Real, our standard favorite spot. Nate and I got to stay a little late and enjoy a date night while Mimi and Pops took the kids to bed! So nice! We always hate to see them go, and Sunday morning came too early.

Sunday is an odd day for Halloween, I'll say that. Not that there is a great day for it anytime, it's just odd to have it on Sunday before everyone heads back to school. We dressed the kids up in their costumes and donned some fun play clothes to trick or treat with them before heading to our party later that evening. Aiden was Bamm Bamm and Teagan was Pebbles. They looked so cute. Nate dressed in a soccer outfit and I squeezed into my old cheerleading outfit from high school. Memories in the making for sure! After getting them to bed we headed off to our party all the way across the street, this time as the Beckhams. It was such a great time and we had fun playing, dancing, eating, and just enjoying the merriment of great neighbors. All in all a very memorable weekend and a fun time making memories with family and friends to last a lifetime.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's hard to believe this was our third time to visit Gentry's Farm as a family. Aiden was only 3 months old on our first visit and it seems like just yesterday we were making him pose with us and the pumpkins in the patch. Time does fly and bring with it multitudes of change, all for which I am grateful. The awesome thing about Aiden's MDO program is it is one of two "schools" in the area that gets to use the farm for a solo visit during the October season, allowing for lots of time to enjoy the activities without fighting the crowds there during the days the farm is open to the public. It makes for a much nicer time for all. Plus, it's cute to see them acknowledging their friends and teachers in a non-school environment. Aiden was in heaven with all the pumpkins and dirt. His cup of tea for sure. Teagan wasn't quite sure what to think, but they both did amazing for me as a solo mom running this trip!

We rode the tractor hay ride and saw lots of cows, even one that was one day old! There was a rainbow in the sky right as we rode, which was fun for Aiden to pick out. He played in the corn maze and troughs of grain with all the toys. We adventured through the teepees and farm houses. Aiden loved the big wooden play set they had with the "FAST" slide and all the animals. He had a nice conversation with the roosters and goats. My two precious loves were the hit amongst all the teachers...which is to be expected. They are pretty awesome if you ask me!

What a fun time and what fun it will be next year when Teagan is 18 months and Aiden is 3! Wow. As much as I can't wait, I certainly can. Time flies too quickly these days.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

We had the joy and pleasure of having a few days (three and a half, to be exact) without the kids. Our original plan was to take one last beach trip before the fall becomes winter, but we took a long look at our growing list of "todo's" around the house and decided it would be to our best advantage to knock some things off that list instead. While it might not seem all that glamorous, it was a lot more fun than either of us anticipated it would be. We took time to get things hang 30 pictures up our stairwell, which may seem like an easy task, but let me be the first to tell you it's not. And we took time to do nothing but sit on the porch and talk. Amidst the flurry of getting things crossed off the list and taking time to just "be" we were able to enjoy so much of each other which is hard to do when you have kids no matter how old they are. Life gets less and less about you and more and more about the family and we love every minute of that, but also love our time together. I feel so blessed to have parents that not only support our initiative to do this, but encourage us to do often as we can and more. Whether they can help watch the kids or not, they understand our need for these times. This time we were lucky enough to be able to have the kids spend time with Mimi and Pa and no matter how many times they do this we never get tired of hearing how much fun they had with them or how they wished they could go back instead of coming home. What a blessing it is to have parents that LOVE on your kids so much so that they don't want to come home! I feel loved so much more as a daughter to see the sacrifice they go through to stay up all night with them, play endlessly all day with them, and give love unconditionally. It is truly an awesome example and one I am grateful to see firsthand.

I'll post some pictures of some of our "list" we accomplished as well as some of the weekend the kiddos enjoyed with the grandparents. I so enjoyed my time as a newlywed with my hot hubby. We had three great date nights, hung out with friends, saw some live music, went on a few runs, and got caught up on life as well as talked about our next steps as a family. We hung our Halloween decor complete with 820 orange lights on our columns, corn stalks, new ribbon and bows, etc. We planted flowers and mulched. We hung the pictures up the stairwell. We hung pictures in Teagan's room. We started cleaning out our overflowing garage apartment. We set up my new desk. We picked out pictures of Teagan to order. And best of all, we did all of that together.  I love my man and am grateful we have such a deep connection, can talk about anything, and one that encourages me to be a better wife, mother, and friend every single day. Pictures to come of all our fun...thanks, babe, for a fantastic few days and thanks, Mom and Dad for a little break in the action. Now I get to jump into a week without a husband and figure that out! Not so exciting!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saying it's been far too long since I've blogged, that is. And I guess there is simply no excuse this time. Beyond having two kids under two, a full time job, a husband that works too many hours, and life to keep up with during the down time. It makes me wonder what it was I did with my time off before kids. Have I said that before? Yes, probably. Well, saying it again for reinforcement of how very true it is.

Catching up on things:
Mom and Dad came to visit for Labor Day and that was super fun. We got some amazing pics and had a great time together, grilling out, eating out, working out, and just spending time together. We hadn't seen them since mid-August, so it felt like forever even though it'd only been a month or so. Good times.

This is what Aiden and I look like most nights before bed, but hardly anyone ever gets to see it. Glad I have this shot.

Mom and I matched that day...and Aiden was along for the ride.

Checking out the butterflies in our yard.

Aiden is showing Bob "the Situation"!!!

Loving time with Mimi!

I love this picture of my sweet girlie!

Aiden is such a sweet brother to Teagan.

Daddy loves his Girl!

Aiden started "school" the first the first week of September and while it was rough, his adjustment has been much smoother than last year, which is utter refreshment. He only stays until lunchtime because they only nap an hour at school and if I bring him home to nap, my little sleeper will rest for 2 - 4 hours. I can't deny a growing boy that nap time when I, in fact, am completely jealous that he gets one. This naptime is indeed one way I am living vicariously through my kids. I hope it is the least offensive of all my attempts both now and in the future.

Luckily we had this shag cut a few days later...yikes!

My sweet boy.

Teagan turned 6 months in the middle of the month and is swimming right along in her half year of life. She is growing (slowly, but growing) and is a whopping 12 pounds. Whoop! My kids love to hang out on that 3rd percentile curve for most of their first year, making doctor visits incredibly "fun" as I get investigated as a parent. Ha! But she's now eating her share of "real" food and has dived right into that...likes almost everything with the exception of peas. But I think she'll come around. Maybe not. Either way, her blue eyes are stunners and she enamors just about everyone who meets her, much like her brother. She's such a happy and fun little one. Barely in 6 month clothes, and size 2 diapers still swim on her, but I'm just fine with that.

Nathan's work schedule as I alluded to earlier has been quite insane. Lots of late nights at the office, which are never fun for either one of us as sometimes a week can go by hardly seeing each other - and we live in the same house! Hopefully a promised job change (just around the corner) will provide some more time to work from home and less restrictions when he does. Thankful, though, that we both have jobs in this crazy time.

And me? Well, I am just doing dandy. It's stressful most days, working all day and then trying to manage the "witching hour" with my two kiddos, but I couldn't ask for better kids or better opportunity. I feel incredibly blessed. The adjustment to having two under two has come with it's fair share of learning curve to it and I feel there is much left to learn, but I am excited about that. I have been suffering from some pretty severe headaches for some time now and am set to see a Neurologist next week, about which I am nervous, but hopeful. They have prevented me from being as active as I like to be, and on some days even living normally for far too long now and I hope to have some answers very soon.

Whew. That's the basic update. Sorry to be so brief on each of the topics, but I felt better about that than putting it off any longer. I'm working on being more consistent. I hope it happens this time!