Monday, January 27, 2014

Just Dropping In...

Well clearly busy season is upon me because the blog has taken a back seat. It has started early this year, so maybe it will end early? I can only hope! This is my 10th busy season. Never thought I would make it past busy season #2 and here we are 10 years in. How in the world am I 10 years out of college?!?! I still feel like it was yesterday that I was at Auburn. Enough on me...Joel is turning 35 tomorrow! The boys are super excited about celebrating Daddy's birthday. The only thing that might make it even better would be a snow day! We are also busy planning Hudson's 5th birthday party! How can that be? I'm not even going to talk about the fact that February 3rd starts Kindergarten registration...
Here are some pictures from lately. I have not gotten my big camera out since Christmas and have barely taken any pictures from my cell phone. It's just been that kind of month. We've had fun though.
These boys are the sweetest things in the world. We are so blessed and are hearts are so full right now. Hudson told me probably 15 times today that I was his best friend! I hope he always loves me this much! :) And Harrison, I could just eat him up with a spoon he's so darn cute. It's a good thing because he is still Trouble with a capital T! His latest act is to take his diaper naptime. You can only imagine. Wall, floor, crib, bumpers, everywhere. He had a field day. Oh and I caught him drinking my soft drink in the fridge the other day...just what we need, Harrison on caffeine!
You can't take you eyes off him! Last week, I was picking him up from school and first thing he told me was that he went to time out. He was SO proud of it, smiling and jumping up and down, like it was the best thing in the world. Apparently, all his friends do it too because he gives me the list of everyone who went to time out each day now. So funny! 
We've spent time with good friends (and put fake teeth in our mouths!)!  

And of course made some trips to Irondale to see the trains (when it wasn't -10 below outside). I've also been playing tennis in the freezing's been a little rough, but good for me!

We are studying the 5 Love Languages of Children in Sunday School and this past Sunday was on quality time. It's so hard during the week when you are working to get good, undistracted, quality time in with your kids when there is the rush of getting out the door in the morning, cooking dinner at night with tired, grumpy kids at your feet, laundry to do, dishes to clean, kids to bathe, etc. So, I've been trying to incorporate some quality time with Hudson WHILE I do these things, and I've found that he is such a great and willing helper if he has all of my attention while doing it! Here he is helping me unload the dishwasher. It's the little things for him! And don't worry, not all of our quality time is spent doing chores! :) This kid LOVES to play games and build legos, so we spend a lot of time doing that too!

 We took the boys to the circus on Saturday afternoon. It was Hudson's third time to go and Harrison's first and I'm happy to say that they both LOVED it! Hudson has always done great at these things and has loved the circus in the past, but we were a little worried about Mr. Busy. Thankfully, he sat still and watched the whole thing! There was a lot of popcorn consumed though to help hold his attention!
We dodged the $25 toys one more year too! Woo hoo! Hudson noticed them, but he didn't ever ask for one, so we just didn't go there! Ha!

Harrison will tell you that his favorite was the elephants! I loved them too buddy!

We had a great afternoon and then had a fun pizza dinner out where the boys acted like perfect angels.

Ok, enough break now. Back to work the night shift! :) Hopefully be back soon!

Monday, January 13, 2014


We had a great trip to California! We dropped the kids off last Friday night with my parents. I hate that I get so much anxiety about leaving them. I should be excited about a little getaway, but I can never truly enjoy it until I'm to my destination. The build up of leaving them is almost too much to handle!
I mean, how could you leave this face?!!?
 Or these!?!? Although I didn't miss having a few days of not having to hear, "What Does the Fox Say" on the Ipad. If you've never watched this, it's a sight to see. I'm not sure whether it's ok or it's just plain weird, but the kids love it. My poor dad even learned that there's a "What Does the Sock Say" and "What Does the Squid Say"! Too funny!

 I didn't miss the cold weather either!

 We had a 7 am flight out of Birmingham Saturday morning, and by noon, we were in California, and by 2, we were on a boat with a drink in hand! Ha! Gotta love my sister. She had our schedule filled up!

 We started with a duffy boat ride around Newport Harbor. It was SO fun! It's a little electric boat that Andres drove around. I even took a turn driving and I have to admit, the driving was a little boring! The scenery was amazing though, the weather even better. I mean, who doesn't love looking at million dollar yachts and houses in 75 degree weather?!?!

 We spent a few hours on the boat, then headed to their house for a bit before heading out to a fun dinner in Newport where we managed to order the strongest drinks in the history of strong drinks. You know when you only have to order one drink the whole night that it was a good one! :)

Unfortunately, I was starting to not feel great Saturday as the day went on. I thought I was just tired from having to be up at 4 am that morning, but in the middle of the night Saturday night, I came down with a fever. It was terrible! I decided I better head to a doc in the box Sunday morning in case it was the flu or something. I never get a fever and I felt just terrible! However, it was nothing but an upper respiratory virus and my 85 year old marine doctor told me to tough it out. So, that I did. I dosed up on Tylenol, took a little nap, and made myself not totally miss a day in California!

That afternoon, we headed to Laguna Beach. I just LOVE Laguna. Lots of little shops and galleries, beautiful people, and the beach! Oh and lots of beautiful houses on the hill to look at!

 Normally I would not have worn a t-shirt out, but I just did not feel good!

 A stop at Sprinkles cupcakes made everything all better!!!

 Trey and Shondra got there Sunday night and we all just decided to stay in that night. They were tired from traveling, and I just really wanted to rest up so that I would be good to go for the game the next day!

Monday morning, I woke up good as new. No fever thankfully! Joel started not feeling great though so that was a bummer. You know how men are when they are not feeling good!

Carrie had told me that she had a flag pole out front of her house and I thought it would be fun to replace it on Monday morning with an Auburn flag and not tell her. She hates Auburn! She went to Alabama and is totally the black sheep of the family! Her reaction was priceless! I wish I had gotten it on video! She was a good sport though and allowed it to stay for the day!

 We went to downtown LA for lunch before heading to Pasadena. I was glad we did this so we didn't have to worry about food once we got there (and I'm glad we did eat because we sure didn't eat anything else the rest of the day!).

 We arrived in Pasadena around 1 and Joel and I immediately went to get our picture made at the Rose Bowl sign!
 We did a lot of walking, a lot of visiting different tailgates, tiger walk, and running into friends!

 I walked in with Nick Marshall's mom and talked to her. She was really nice and told me that Nick told her he was ready! 
 Not the greatest picture, but you get the point. The stadium had great views all around it. We had heard horror stories about this stadium, but it was actually ok!

 The game was a great game, but unfortunately, Auburn lost it with about 30 seconds to go! So heartbreaking! We had it the whole game. Oh well! We were proud of Auburn either way. It was a great season and we were so happy we got to see them to the end!

We had a terrible time getting out of Pasadena that night. Then, all 4 of our cell phones died (mine actually did before the game even started that day!). We got lost, had to stop twice for directions, and finally made it back around 1 am I think? It was a long ride home!

We couldn't get a flight back to Birmingham on Tuesday, so we stayed an extra day (darn!) and drove up to Santa Barbara on Tuesday. I've done the LA/Hollywood/Beverly Hills thing before and I just wasn't too interested in doing all of that again, so I thought this sounded like a fun day trip! We picked up our friends, the Powell's, and drove the mini Cooper up the coast to Santa Barbara. We ate lunch at a fabulous place on the beach before going into downtown Santa Barbara.

 This was the first sort of overcast day we had out there. It was still pretty, but not the crisp blue sky we had had the rest of the time!
 One of the reasons we wanted to go to Santa Barbara was to go wine tasting. They have a bunch of tasting rooms in downtown and we visited three of them (thanks to my friend Danielle who lives there for giving us tips on where to go!). We had such a fun time trying wines and hanging out. Since it was a Tuesday, the tasting rooms weren't busy so we had a lot of one on one time with the people that worked there and learned so much about wine!

 At one of the places, there was a beer tasting flight and the guys got it. I thought the way they served it was so cute!
 The last place we went to, we were able to strike up a conversation with the owner and the next thing we know, he is calling this really hard to get into restaurant nearby telling them that a group from Alabama was on their way and they needed to have a table ready for us! Awesome!

We got there and had the best brussel sprouts I have ever had! Yes, you heard that right...brussel sprouts! Ha! My mom would be SO proud.

 The atmosphere and the meal were just a perfect end to a perfect day.

Our flight left on Wednesday. It was a sad goodbye leaving Carrie and Andres. I hate living so far away from them! They were so gracious to open up their home and let us stay with them, plan our social agenda, and have the fridge stocked! :) I hope we get to go back and visit again very soon!

But it was really nice getting home to these, now very very much spoiled, little monsters!

My parents survived keeping 3 kids (my niece included!), but I think they were pretty ready to give them back! Harrison was attached to my mom and really wanted no part in seeing us when we got back. Hudson was really excited to see us though! It was really sad going back to work the next day after 3 weeks off. We are still trying to recover and get caught up on sleep, but it was totally worth it! SO glad we went!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ringing in the New Year

Well, 2013 ended with a bang! Broken dryer, broken garage door, and then what we thought might be a broken foot for Harrison. We were at the playground yesterday and Harrison asked to sit in my lap going down a slide. His foot got caught under me on the way down. He wouldn't put much weight on it yesterday, but it seems a little better today. He still is limping though and complains that it hurts--so sad!
2013 was a good year in a lot of ways, and was trying in a lot of ways too. We lost 3 family members, my sister won her battle against melanoma (very scary process considering we've already lost a brother to cancer), Harrison was sick, sick, sick. We had two great family weddings though, welcomed a new baby to the family (that wasn't ours!), beach trips, cabin trips, lake trips, grew our relationships with friends, and just had fun with our little family of 4! We can't complain!
2014 is already shaping up to be an exciting year. I can't wait for all that we have planned already, and everything else that is to come along with it!
We spent our last night in 2013 at the Schreiner's house with friends. What a fun night to end the year! The kids had a blast and stayed up WAY past their bedtime, but we were all sound asleep long before midnight.

The guys were thrilled to have their picture taken!

Dance party led by the little ones!

Happy New Year!