Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Spring Break"

This was my view from dinner last Tuesday night...really wishing I was there tonight, enjoying a little cocktail and some good fish after spending a full day on the beach!
But no, I'm here in Birmingham working! And I was working last week in Mobile where that picture was taken! Oh well. Accountant problems!
I got home last Thursday night and then Friday morning, Harrison had his egg hunt and party at school. He has become a pro at egg hunting since this was egg hunt #3.

This is sweet Henry, Harrison's best friend from school. They are so cute!

The boys had been wearing shorts all week last week and then Friday, it was freezing! I thought I had worn my winter clothes for the last time.

 Friday afternoon, we headed up to the cabin. My parents offered to keep the boys for a few days during spring break so we all went up there for the weekend and then Joel and I came home Sunday night. It was a great weekend! The weather was chilly, but it was sunny so we couldn't complain.

 Saturday morning we headed to the Pocket to see the wildflowers in bloom. It's a pretty incredible place. The boys always love a good hike.

 Silly pictures are always more fun!

 We had lunch at Mountain Cove Farms and then headed back to the cabin. We played outside all afternoon and then had dinner at the Wildflower in Mentone. SO yummy! Mom's friend Larry Joe was playing the guitar that night and so she wanted to go support him. They originally put us in the back of the restaurant where we couldn't see or hear him. We were fine with it, but Hudson decided to take matters into his own hands and walked to the front and asked if we could move closer to Larry Joe, and sure enough, they moved us! It was hilarious! And yes, we all wanted to crawl under the table, but we were all secretly happy he did it too! He LOVES his music and he wasn't about to miss out on it. In fact, he was at our table for maybe 5 minutes the whole time. The rest of the time he was sitting right next to Larry Joe and talking to him all night! I really should have taken a picture of it! It ended up being a really late night for all of us, but we had a blast.

Sunday, we decided we would drive to Rocktown in Cherokee County to check it out. We had heard of people going there to rock climb, but didn't really know what else there was to do. Well, one look at this view was worth the drive! It was beautiful up there! Weiss Lake is down below...

 The rock climbers were out in full force and we loved watching them. It looks so hard! There were some trails that went through the rocks, so our little adventure turned into another hike. I think my parents were exhausted after all the walking, but we all had fun!

 Photo courtesy of Hudson!
We stayed for lunch and rest time and headed back to Birmingham late that afternoon. We did not want to come home, especially to go back to work. But, it was nice having a quiet ride home and a relaxing evening filled with a grocery store run and laundry. Exciting stuff!

Monday night we did take advantage and headed to Babalu for dinner. It was delicious! I really can't wait to go back and try more stuff! We had a great date night!

Mom and Dad brought the kids back tonight. They had had enough! Ha! We really appreciated the help and the time off though, even if it was only a couple of days. The boys were SO tired, so I can only imagine how tired my parents are.

Now they are going to spend a few days with Migi before I finally get a day off on Friday and hopefully we can do something fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Past Couple of Weeks...

Baseball is in full swing! We've now played 3 games and are 2-1. It's pretty intense and I am starting to get into it way more than I thought I would! I get SO nervous every time Hudson gets up to bat. They get 5 pitches and if they don't hit it they get to hit off the tee. So far, Hudson has only had to hit it off the tee once and that was in the very first game, so he's doing great! We are so proud of him. His team is precious and we've had a good time getting to know some new folks.
 Last week, Hudson had a PE program at school. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was the cutest thing I have ever seen! I have some pretty awesome videos that are too big to post, but Hudson was really gettin' down! Ha! It was a bunch of songs that they had choreographed dances to. You could tell that they have really been working hard on it!

 There was even square dancing involved! Took me back to my elementary school days! They still do it the same way! :)
After baseball on Saturday, we headed to see Mama Jean and go to her Easter celebration. She ended up not being able to come down with us (her leg was bothering her and she just needed to stay in her room), but the boys had such a fun time!

 The boys even got their picture made with the Easter bunny! Can check that off the list! He was just as creepy as ever!

 Then they had an Easter egg hunt. Harrison got to participate in the 1-3 age range, and there just happened to only be him and one other little girl in that group, so he lucked out and racked up!

 He found the golden egg! Woo hoo!

 Later that day, Hudson wanted to go back to the ball park and watch his buddies play (love this part about baseball!) so Joel took him back to the fields and then we went to dinner with friends afterwards. The kids were NUTS, but it was fun. I'm ready for warmer and better weather (it was kind of rainy) so we can start sitting outside again. I'm sure that restaurants are ready for that too! :)

 Today we had our Sunday school class egg hunt. The rain caused it to be moved inside, which was fine with us because we actually were able to attend because of the rain. Harrison was supposed to have soccer this afternoon and Hudson had baseball and thankfully both were canceled so we got to do one more egg hunt. I think we are done now! :)

 Harrison LOVED it.
 Can you tell?!?!
 Candy should be his middle name!

Hudson got his 20 eggs in about 2.5 seconds. Maybe faster. So fast that this was the only picture I could get. He was already done!

 Best buds with their loot.

 I think we counted over 40 kids. It's so fun watching them grow!

I'm headed out of town this week for work and then it's spring break! Well for Hudson anyway. Accountants unfortunately do not get spring break. :( Poor Hudson! We will make it up to him though!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Weekend Outdoors

We enjoyed the beautiful weather last weekend! I can tell spring is on its way and that makes us all happy!
A co-worker gave us 2 tickets to the Schoolhouse Rock fundraiser benefiting Cornerstone Schools on Friday night and so Joel and I headed for a night out. We didn't make it very long because Joel started to not feel well, but it was fun for a little bit! They gave out these gold sunglasses and the boys have loved playing with them! They look like movie stars! Migi and Pops took the boys to Johnny Rockets and Hudson got the restaurant to sing Happy Birthday to him! That boy is so funny! Didn't he know his birthday was over?!?!

We had baseball pictures Saturday morning. Hudson and Caleb were best, best friends from about 18 months to 3 when they were at the same school. They had the closest bond, one that I would never have guessed two kids that young could have. Well, we moved Hudson to a different school the fall after he turned 3 and while we have had play dates and been to each other's birthday parties, it's been hard to get them together as much as we would have liked with us all being working parents. Well, we were THRILLED to see that they ended up on the same baseball team this year! It has been so fun to see them re-kindle their friendship.

 Love little boys in uniform! And the 3 coaches were all Joel's good friends growing up! So fun to get to have the group back together again with their sons! I'm pretty sure that Joel is having more fun than Hudson at this point!

 Sunday morning, we decided to skip church and head to Red Mountain Park for the morning to hike. Spring like weather just makes us all want to be outside! It was such a beautiful day!

 Our goal this time was to find one of the treehouses and we succeeded! We ended up hiking about 4 miles total so it was a lot longer than we wanted, but the boys loved it! Well, one boy loved it a ton, the other one had to be held a bunch, but 4 miles of hiking will do that to little legs so I don't blame him. I burned some calories that day with Harrison on my hip a lot of the time!

Red Mountain Park is so, so nice, and a great addition to Birmingham. However, my one beef with it is that you get red clay all over your shoes, and if you have crazy boys, you get red clay all over their clothes, hands, faces, feet, backside...you name it. And then you bring dogs too who love to play in the mud and then get red clay all over them? Well, just prepare for your car to be ruined. So that was a bit of a bummer. We forgot about how dirty you get, but we will certainly remember for next time!

 The time change on Sunday really messed with our day. The day FLEW by. We didn't get home from hiking until almost 2, so I decided that we just needed to skip nap for Harrison so that he would go to bed early and hopefully get us on the right track for the week. The week following a time change is always pretty terrible for the boys. So far, so good though!

Hudson had baseball practice at 4, so Harrison and I decided we would head to McCallum Park and play for a while. They added a really nice walking trail within the past couple of months and I wanted to check it out (even though my legs didn't really feel the same way after hiking that morning!). Harrison loved playing in the woods again and then spent a long time on the playground. Such a nice little gem here in Vestavia.

 Yikes, I look rough, but Harrison looks cute so it's post worthy. He was so sweet and it was fun to spend that one on one time with him!

We came back home and he helped me pick up every stick in the yard and take it to the street. He was a hard working boy that day! That's why I cut him a little slack when I caught him tee-teeing in the front yard. Sorry neighbors, we obviously have some work to do! :)

Joel started a new job in Birmingham yesterday! We are excited to have him back home and life is getting back to normal! These past two months have been a complete blur, but we survived!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Happy Birthday Hudson! A Trip to Atlanta to Celebrate!

We have a SIX year old! How is that possible?!!? Wasn't he just born on that cold, snowy Sunday?!? It's so hard to believe!
Instead of having another big birthday party with too much time spent planning and gifts we don't need, we decided that a family trip was in order this year and Hudson was definitely on board since one of the stops was to LEGOLAND where he was going to get to pick out the big cargo train lego set that he's had his eyes on since the fall.
We let him play hooky from school on Friday and made it to Atlanta by lunchtime. We ate at the Varsity! His all time favorite food is a cheeseburger, so we thought we would start the weekend off right! He loved it! He kept calling it Johnny Vockets though because of the V! Too funny!
Then, it was off to the aquarium for the afternoon! We took Hudson one other time when he was 2 while we were in Atlanta for a wedding and of course he didn't remember it, so we wanted to go again. It was a big hit for both boys!

Their favorite thing was to watch the whale sharks.

 I liked the dolphin show!

 And the penguins were adorable!!!

After a few hours at the aquarium, we headed to our hotel in Buckhead. I had planned for dinner Saturday night, but thought we would just wing it Friday night, and that sort of turned out to be a bad plan. I forgot how crazy Atlanta was, and Buckhead is not just loaded with places for kids to dine! We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory which I was very unhappy about because when we travel, I don't like to eat at places we can eat at everyday...but, it worked out great, the kids loved it, and they even brought Hudson out a birthday treat!

Of course we had already promised Hudson a trip to Sprinkles next door to get a treat, so he got two!
Only on your birthday!
 This little guy was full of sugar too!

 The kids were ca-razy at the hotel...why do hotels do that to kids!?! I felt bad for anyone around us! With all the sugar, they were wired. We finally got them to sleep and we all slept until 9 am the next morning (that's 8 our time, but still pretty good!). We ate an awesome breakfast at the Flying Biscuit, and then headed to Duluth to the Southeastern Train Museum. It was only about a 20 minute drive and it was great! Both boys are obsessed with trains, so it was a big hit.

 We paid extra to ride the real train, and that was a big flop. The train went forward about 30 feet, went backwards 30 feet, and then back forwards. It was pretty funny though!

 They loved looking at all the old trains and most of them we could get in so that was fun too!

 Boys will be boys...gotta find the potty and think it's the funniest thing in the world! :)

 Harrison would have watched this electric train all day long...

 The boys conned their daddy into getting them treats from the little store that was there! I little toy train for Harrison and a big train book for Hudson!

 I think Joel had fun too!

 Just doing a little cooking on the train!

 After we finished at the train museum, we headed to the zoo. We had not originally planned to go, but it ended up being a beautiful day and we wanted to be outside in it! And our membership at the Birmingham Zoo got us in for half price in Atlanta, so it was pretty cheap!

You can barely see the lions at the top of the picture below...

 The best part about the Atlanta Zoo was the gorillas. They need to share one with the Birmingham zoo so our little gorilla won't look so lonely! They had a ton of them!

 They were so active too. Two big gorillas got into it and one started to beat his chest and make these crazy noises and the boys thought that was just the coolest thing in the world! There was a lot of chest beating the rest of the day!

 They had pandas too, which were fun to watch!

 Overall, the zoo was about on par with our zoo though. I wouldn't make a special trip to go there just for the zoo, but it was a fun addition to our trip!

 The boys were WORN out by this point, but we had dinner at Maggiano's after the zoo. Hudson said he wanted spaghetti for his birthday dinner, so we thought this would be fun and good for kids too.

 We had an awesome meal. It was delish and just what Hudson wanted. He ate an entire bowl of spaghetti...every last drop. I thought for sure he was going to get sick.

And then it was back to the hotel for more craziness.

Sunday morning was LEGOLAND day! He could not wait to go! We started with Dunkin Donuts and then headed to Phipps. It was a really fun morning!

 I just love this happy face!

 They had a spot where you could build your own race car and then race it against others. Hudson spent at least an hour working on his car. And his car was FAST too! He did great! Of course I expected nothing less...he's definitely got Joel's engineer brain and building things is what he does best!

 Joel built Harrison a car too. He had so much fun too!

We saw a 3D lego show and that was great too!

 And then it was on to the lego store! Hudson had been talking about the cargo train legos for months, however, they didn't have it! We were all so sad! So, I ordered it online from the store and we let Hudson pick out something smaller to take with him. We couldn't let him leave empty handed (and yes he has us completely wrapped around his fingers!). Hudson was so overwhelmed. Way too many options! He had a really hard time deciding. He finally made his choice...

 We got to the check out and he decided he didn't want those! So, he got the Ghostbusters car instead! And, he's already put it all together! It's for a TEN year old and he put it together in a few hours!

We had one more stop before we left Atlanta--Trader Joe's! My first trip! So fun...can't wait until we get ours in Birmingham later this year!
 We had such a great time in Atlanta and Hudson was completely spoiled out of his mind! Seriously, I can't remember a birthday like that ever! Ha! It was fun having some quality time with the 4 of us since Joel has been gone so much.

We headed back home in time for Hudson to go to baseball practice, a stop by from Big Mama and Big Daddy, and then it was dinner at Migi and Pops' house! Hudson requested cookie cake, so that's what I got!

LOVE this sweet boy with all my heart!

 And Migi and Pops made him an even happier boy with MORE LEGOS!

 Harrison had a pretty great weekend too. Here he is showing me his "Grandpa" pants! :)

 And Hudson wanted me to make sure we all knew what was on the back of his new shirt that Big Mama and Big Daddy gave him!

Happy Birthday sweet boy! We had so much fun celebrating with you this weekend and can't wait to see what SIX has in store for us!