Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Goodbye November, Welcome Advent

I wish I had better news to report, but we are still sick. It's Jack this time and I probably have a touch of something myself but I'm too stubborn to go to the doctor so I just suffer in silence. I'm prayerful that we are finally on the road to recovery!
On Friday I did all the Christmas decorations except the tree and then on Saturday when Daddy came in from the woods he set it up for us and we got busy. Georgia was a big helper this year and we probably have 50 ornaments on the bottom branches alone. I just left them except for the heirloom ornaments, I moved them up the tree since Jack attack broke four ornaments in the first two hours of the tree being trimmed. Thank goodness there have been no other ornament casualties since the initial destruction. That's just part of Christmas with a 1 1/2 year old boy!

The last of our leaves fell over the weekend so I took the kids outside and snapped a few pictures before the leaves were gone and the cold weather set in. We are also considering a major haircut for this girl. I think a cute bob would be perfect for her! Now if we can only find the courage to take the plunge.

Best friends forever. He adores his "Dorda" :)

So Saturday the Cats won the Governor's Cup, the weather was nice enough to play in our new playhouse and we ate another turkey dinner at Grandmomma's house. It was one of our favorite days!

Please stay this little and innocent forever you two.

On Sunday we attended the hanging of the greens service at Grandmomma's church. We started going last year and looked forward to it this year. It also brought back a sad memory for us. Last year on this Sunday Owen was so so sick so Marcus stayed home with him and I took the kids on to church so they didn't have to see him so bad. This week is the anniversary of us losing him and my heart is heavy.

Georgia and Jack both participated in hanging the greens throughout the church. They were big helpers!

Back to the doctor on Monday with a red throat (strep wasn't positive but was probably heading into that) and lots of congestion. A shot and some more medicine and we were on our way. Thanks to Dr. Jessica for squeezing us in, we are forever obliged!

He's starting to feel better. He was up for a round of wrestling with dad last night before bed. He's not sleeping well which is so out of character. He has also sit in Gram's lap and watched a TV show which is not him either. He should be back to normal-ish by tomorrow!

It's the last day of November. I had goals to have my house completely Christmas-ed by now and that is done. I also had a goal to have all my Christmas shopping done. That is not complete but I'm about 75% complete. I hope to savor the last 31 days of 2016 as much as I can. This has been the fastest year ever.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

It's been a fun last few days with lots of time with friends and family. We've cooked, we've eaten, we've visited and now we are ready for the Christmas season to begin. But first, a look at our turkey day festivities-

We celebrated with my family on Wednesday which just so happened to be my mom's birthday so we celebrated her too. Her birthday always gets thrown in with Thanksgiving but mine always gets thrown in with Easter so touché mom :) 

We failed at a picture of just the three amigos but did get one of them with the birthday girl and Gran Stan. This will be our last holidays that we spend with them before they move overseas so from now until then I will make every effort to document these days.  

Thanksgiving morning we slept in (8am) and then watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Uncle Jake and Aunt Shanna joined us and we had biscuits and country ham. When it was time for Jack's nap, the girls got busy being domestic. We made creamed corn, candied yams and two pecan pies for our Thanksgiving dinner that we were hosting. I have a forever Thanksgiving feast helper. She LOVES to cook!

We called Uncle Cody since we wouldn't be seeing him this year for Thanksgiving but he will be home for almost a whole week for Christmas so we are looking forward to that. He told us he tried to go to the parade but it was too crowded but he did go out with his friends for a traditional Thanksgiving meal so that made my mama heart happy! 

They love Thanksgiving as much as we do. They looked forward to having family over to their house all day. Thankful doesn't even begin to describe it when it comes to these two. 

I pulled out the Indian headdresses we made last year. Of course Georgia's still fit fine and Jack's was way too small!

So he went ahead and tore his up. I love their surprised expressions but it really wasn't surprising ha! 

We love hosting the Flener/Harrison family and Marcus is such a huge help getting everything ready for it. He's better at it than me actually.

All that was left was a dirty kitchen and dining room but I'm so thankful for the mess that made the memory.


Pa's birthday was on Monday so we celebrated him too! 

Black Friday which is also known as our Christmas decorating day. We don't leave the house or get out of pjs (the kids and me, Marcus went hunting) and we let this day be our Christmas spirit kickoff day! I found a new recruit for the outside decorations :) 

And it's finally here-the new season of Gilmore Girls! Bring on the wit, segways, coffee and Jess :) #teamjess I had to retake this picture several times to make sure you could see my Luke's diner shirt. I don't wear tshirts but this will be an exception. I don't watch much TV but this is the exception. I've been a grassroots fan since the beginning (and actually prefer Rory as a high school junior but who asked me ha!) Rory taught me it was ok to enjoy reading, to appreciate my pale skin and that living in a small town can be appealing (Morgantown is no Stars Hollow but you get the picture I'm painting). This show just makes sense to me.

Tomorrow we finish up our decorating and have another family dinner. I'm about 75% finished with my Christmas shopping. I appreciate all the stores that offer their Black Friday sales online. If I can shop solely online and only go out to do a little window shopping this year I will be totally fine with that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A November to Forget

Unfortunately, we have been sick most of the month of November. The babes staggered their sicknesses (cup half full-a blessing, cup half empty-will this ever end?) so that we've pretty much had someone taking some type of medicine from the beginning until now. And thanks to my blog and using my little nifty search tab, I learned that November last year was also a sick month for us. Except they were sick at the same time then. Anyway, I will be very careful next November about everything. No going out, wash our hands a million times a day, live in a bubble, etc. 

While Jack was down and Georgia was still fresh as a daisy, we went to our Tuesday evening dance class. We love her class and teacher but we don't get to see them practice but I did sneak a quick picture of her before we left the studio. I hope I can get a few pictures of her in action soon.

Both of my babies love books and I pray that love will stay with them forever. I love to read, even though I don't make time for it much these days. I value someone that is well read and I want these two to be a resident of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, hunt the white whale aboard the Pequod, fight alongside Napoleon, sail a raft with Huck and Jim, commit absurdities with Ignatius J. Really, ride a sad train with Anna Karenina and stroll down Swann's Way. If you know where those last lines came from, we could be best friends :)

And then Thursday night just as Jack was back to feeling good poor sister went down. We took her to the doctor Friday morning and they diagnosed her with pneumonia. It was just a small patch in her right lung but I know pneumonia is nothing to take lightly so we set up a sick bay and did our best to nurse our girl back to health. 

I feel like I neglected this poor boy for a few days but thankfully we had plenty of family that jumped in to help take care of him and keep him happy/entertained.  

And in between cleaning up various bodily fluids and giving medicines and napping with my sick girl, I did some major Gilmore Girls binging so that I would be ready for Friday (release of the reunion season!). It helped me get through the three day stint when I never left the house or put on makeup. 

And timing is everything, right? So we have been scouring for a swing set for the past 2-3 months. We have researched this as if we were trying to find the cure for cancer. We finally narrowed it down to a few facts. 1. We wanted one made with redwood 2. We wanted a swing set/playhouse combo 3. We didn't want to pay the retail price for a set like this so we knew we were in the market for a used one.

We found our swingset on Craigslist and Marcus, my Dad, our family friend Chris and friend Steve headed down to Brentwood, Tennessee on Sunday with two trucks and two trailers to transport it home. It was an all day event to disassemble, load and reassemble and I am SO thankful for these guys for sacrificing a whole day to go get this deal of a century for us.

It was dark outside by the time it was built on Sunday so we waited until Monday to show it to Georgia. We had finally turned a corner with her sickness and this was just what she needed to cheer her up! Marcus came home on his break and we surprised her with it. She was nearly speechless! She calls it "her playground" and is already talking about hosting her next birthday party in it :)

We took Jack boy out to see it too. I'm afraid he will be scaling it and walking on the swing beam if we don't keep a close eye on him. He loved the slide and we have bought a toddler swing seat for him. Marcus is going to pressure wash it and restain it over Thanksgiving break so it will be as good as new. 

Yesterday the boys got fresh cuts for all our Thanksgiving festivities. Jack's is shorter than normal and he looks more like a boy than a baby but I love it. 

Georgia is much improved and just in time for Thanksgiving. I have countless blessings to be thankful for this year. I can't wait to start the festivities! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

iPhone dump

The holidays are here and my phone is full of pictures I need to document so I'm doing a little photo binge. 

My Mamaw keeps Jack one day a week for us and I forgot to pack a shirt for him one day. She didn't have anything at her house so we went to her basement and found this shirt that was my Dad's! It was part of his Easter outfit from back in the 60's. It was in perfect condition and I think he felt spiffy in it. 

For Georgia's OWL Academy, they give all the preschoolers a Brigance test. Back in October I took Georgia for her test. We already knew how gifted she was but this confirmed it for us. I'm so so proud of her. She made a 100 and Mrs. Brandie said she answered all her questions quickly and confidently. We've already determined she is Ivy League bound.

So then we mapped it and realized it's a little more than a hop, skip and jump to Harvard. Or she might be the next Rory Gilmore and go to Yale. Thankfully that is far, far in the future!

We enjoyed the new firepit this fall. Jack especially did when he could snuggle with Daddy. 

Reading to his stuffed puppy that reminds us all of Owen <3 Jack loves to read and requests "books" all the time. His favorites are books about cows. 

Sweet girl wearing a cat face during her trip to the American Girl store with Aunt Shanna and Uncle Jake

After almost two years we finally received a new picture of our compassion child, Fitsum! It was so exciting for us to see how much he has grown in the span of time. We love this boy and pray for his well-being and future. It's a blessing for us to have a small part in his life. 

Caught red handed doing what he loves to do-make messes. But look at those big puppy dog eyes that scream "Don't be mad, Mommy!".

AKK Preschoolers enjoying the new slide that Granddad installed. Love those sweet babies!

I took the kids shopping last week and we took an elevator selfie. And then we rode the escalator several times and that was the highlight of the day for them.

I am running a sick bay at our house. Jack is getting over his sickness (right ear infection and croup) from last week and now Georgia is down with pneumonia in her right lung :( We have had a very healthy year so I guess it was time for this. Last November they both had ear infections at the same time. I am going to be nervous for November to roll around next year!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Recapping the Weekend

We had a very laid back weekend around here, mostly due to Jack boy being sick at the end of the week. I took him to the doctor on Thursday and he was diagnosed with a right ear infection and croup. Since he was contagious we did our best to keep Georgia at arm's length and keep him contained at home.

This was Jack and me Thursday morning at about 1:30 a.m. If something effects his sleep, you know he's sick. He decided at about 1 a.m. That he wanted to "pway".

This is how he has spent the majority of the last four days. He fell asleep on the way home from the doctor Thursday at 1pm and did not wake up until Friday morning at 7am. Eighteen hours folks. This boy can sleep with the best of them. Thankfully he is feeling better. This is only his second time to be sick and his first antibiotic so I'm super thankful for a healthy boy.

After Marcus got home from school on Thursday, I took Georgia over to my Mom's to celebrate Gran Stan's birthday and of course to see Baby Bo. He is such a fatty watty! His legs put the Michelin man to shame. These two love each other very much.

Her favorite toy to play with at Gammy and Gran Stan's-her wooden magnetic dolls

Dressed in her patriotic best in honor of all the veterans on Veteran's Day. Thanks to all our service men and women for their dedication to our country.

A little sickness didn't slow this boy down from his rambunctious ways. He keeps a bruise, scrape, pump knot etc. Boys will be boys.

Sunday Georgia and I went to church while the boys stayed home and then Marcus and me switched kids and he took her to a birthday party. We did a lot of juggling this weekend but we made it all work.

One full week of work and then a short week before Thanksgiving is here! I blinked and we are wrapping up 2016. I have been knocking out my Christmas list so I can spend as much time as I can enjoying the holidays and not hustling and bustling to get everything done. I would love to have all my gifts by December 1st.  A girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Really Good Stuff

So much good stuff in this post. Really good stuff. Things that make me giddy with excitement stuff.

I said "ABSOLUTELY" to my friend since forever. I've never been so happy for someone to find their soulmate than Juleah. I cannot wait to see her in her wedding dress because she always wears black and I think white will be the perfect color for her :) Love you Jewelz and Donnie!

Georgia had a fever after her vaccines last week so we spent a day at home with no plans, just resting and relaxing. I know one thing that Jack will be getting for Christmas. #onefullstool #toothpasteoneverybody

Thursday night I received a text that Ashley had labor pains through the night and they were admitting her following her appointment that morning! We headed to the hospital so we could be there when Baby Ben entered the world. They let us hang out outside her delivery room so of course I eavesdropped and repeated everything I heard to those waiting :)

Meet Baby Ben! He weighed 7 pounds 3 1/2 ounces and was 21 inches long with a head full of dark hair. He is soooo handsome and perfect. We love him so much already! Congrats Ash and James!

On Saturday we attended a Nutcracker Ballet Tea Party at Georgia's dance studio. I knew this event would be right up her alley since dancing and tea parties are two of her favorite things.

She met the Sugarplum Fairy (who was a sweet sixteen year old who had a fit over Georgia's dress because her mom dressed her the same way when she was little) and fell in love with ballet and The Nutcracker even more.

Our friends Lily and Gracyn were there too. Lily was actually selected to play Clara which was a huge honor! She did a wonderful job!

Sweet friends/cousins, Aunt Nell would be so proud of this picture 

I was able to meet Ben the night he was born but we waited for him to come home for the whole family to meet him. He is just a bundle of baby perfection! 

Uncle Marcus and Baby Ben

I took a four day weekend and Monday the kids and me had a day out to do some shopping. Georgia picked our lunch place so of course it was CFA. We pulled out our turkey shirts because it's November and I want to get as much wear out of them as I can :)

We shopped for our shoebox child. We picked a 2-4 year old girl and Georgia picked out almost everything that went in the box. Yes, that's a pom pom hanging out. I actually thought that was a really neat idea. When we got home from shopping, she said this was her favorite part of the whole day. We must be doing something right.

We had family pictures made with my Dad's family and the photographer snapped one of our family. I love the beautiful foliage in the background and the perfect November lighting. But I love these three people the most!

Saturday we entered into the Easy-Bake Oven phase of Georgia's childhood. I remember my EBO so well. Thank you Aunt Rhonda and Aunt Ash!

We did most of our baking during Jack's nap but he woke up on the tail end and wanted to be a part of it.

Finished product-red velvet cupcakes with pink frosting and rainbow confetti sprinkles!

Our official taste tester :)

Last night we attended the live airing of the CMA Country Christmas show at the Grand Ole Opry. I have looked forward to this night since I watched the show on TV last year and decided I would get us tickets for this year. The set was outstanding and we were in the balcony seats but we were in the center so we had a great view.

We took my Mamaw for her birthday/Christmas gift but she didn't want to hike the stairs again for a picture but we did get one with her when it was over.

The coal miner's daughter was in the house!! She's 84 and although it took her a few tries, she delivered a great performance. Since this was a live recording, artists sometimes had to redo their performances if it didn't go just right or if there was audio trouble. And the audience had specific things we had to do-big clapping, medium clapping, etc. It was fun to see it all unfold!

When I think about country music, I think about my grandparents and how the Grand Ole Opry was always on their TV when we would go to visit and how Vince Gill was always playing in their car :) This event just seemed like the perfect fit for us! The show will air November 28th at 7pm CT and it is sooooo good! Happy late birthday/early Christmas, Mamaw!

We elected a new president Tuesday night. Well actually Wednesday morning and Marcus and I stayed up until it became official. I don't dabble in politics too much but this election has been so historic and unexpected. I would have never in a million years imagined Donald Trump as my president but I have a lot of peace and hope in the decision our country made. It was an anti-politician and pro-small town America statement. There's a lot of work to be done and he's far from perfect, but I'm hopeful we can come out with an united country and a true country under GOD.