Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy Father's Day

I was unable to get to the computer this weekend, but I wanted to wish our Dad's a fabulous Father's Day. I am so blessed with having the goofiest, sweetest, kindest, most forgiving, loving father. He truly set a foundation in my life, teaching me by example the way we need to treat and respect others. And to have a father in law who keeps us in stitches and does so much for his family makes me doubly blessed.
And my husband. Well, it wasn't the easiest road getting to parenthood (although I know we're blessed and it wasn't the toughest, either). I waited what seemed like forever to see the look on Brian's face the day I got to tell him he was going to be a daddy. The time has already flown and each and every day I get to see the absolute adoration on my son's face as he watches and mimics his Da-Da is the best day in the world. Brian, you simply amaze me. I see how Nolan makes you view the world differently and I am so proud of you. I love watching you push Nolan around on his riding toys for what must seem like hours when your back is hurting. I love watching Nolan try new food that he refused to try only because he saw YOU do it. You are simply and utterly a phenominal father. Happy Father's Day and I love you so much.

Good Times

Friday afternoon Tammi & Evan arrived for a weekend visit. I can't believe it's already been over a year since we've seen them. Tammi & I were both a little worried about how the boys would interact together, but apparently we worried for nothing. They were instant buddies. Nolan was totally enthralled with Evan! They played really well together and kept each other occupied. Friday night Brian grilled some steaks and after we fed, bathed & put the kids to bed we stayed up late chatting over wine. Saturday morning we got up and took the boys to the splash pad. Evan really enjoyed it, I think even more so than Nolan. In the mean time, Matt Hliko arrived at our house. He's at SOS, so he drove down for the night. When the kids woke up from their naps we headed out on the boat. Brian made amazing skewers for dinner (Paula Deen recipe) and Jake & Jamie joined us as well.
Sunday we bid farewell to Matt and headed to church. Then we came home and swam in the pool. We went out to dinner that night and headed to bed a little early (the sun really takes it out of you)! It was such a fantastic weekend and I am so happy they came out to visit us. We're so blessed! There are so many pictures I'm not even sure where to begin.
The boys at bath time:

At the splash pad:

Tammi & Evan at lunch on the water:

Upside down Matt on the boat (I wonder who took this pic?)

Tammi, Evan, myself, Nolan & Bri on the boat:

Swimming at Crab Island:

Matt driving the boat:

Tammi & Evan in the backyard while while the boys swam in the kiddie pool (we ate at Firehouse Subs, sooo good & the boys got hats):

Close up of cutie pie Evan:

The boys swimming:

Silliest dad in the world (giving Nolan rabbit ears)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Soooo Excited

We have some fun pics of Nolan, but I am getting ready to go to the airport to pick up our weekend visitor!! Whoo hoo! I can't wait! I'll have better updates/posts on Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!!

Monday, June 11, 2007


Saturday Brian graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with his Masters of Business Administration. We attended a graduation ceremony held at the National Museum of Naval Aviation (on the Navy base in Pensacola). It was a beautiful ceremony and wouldn't you know, Brian was the last, the VERY LAST student to walk across the stage to recieve his diploma? They certainly do save the best for last! Nolan basically skipped his nap to attend and let me tell you, we were so proud of him. As exciting as graduating is, lets face it, the ceremonies are no fun for toddlers! He sat in his stroller munching on various snacks and playing with cars and clapping and was soooo good! When Brian walked across the stage I took him out of his stroller to go up front and snap photos and that was the only time he fussed, because he really wanted to get down and run up on stage with Da-da! Brian attended Embry-Riddle as an undergrad his freshman year in Daytona. I know from stories he tells me and friends he's stayed in contact with, that it was one of the best years of his life. Circumstances caused him to return home and he earned his undergraduate degree at one of the toughest engineering colleges in the nation, University Missouri Rolla. Even so, I think there was a part of him that always felt like something was unfinished, like part of his dream was left unachieved. Watching him walk across that stage and hearing his name as one of the Embry-Riddle graduates was one of those rare moments in life where you can physically see someone's dream accomplished. He was very modest, but I know how much it meant to him to complete this goal and it will be something he will have with him all of his life. No one can take it away. Congratulations, Brian. We're all so proud of you! The stage, before the ceremony began: This was one of the planes you saw when you looked up, there were 3 just like it. Nolan was in awe! Here's Brian walking toward his seat: Nolan munching on raisins, I believe (don't his eyes look tired?):

Here's Brian waiting for his name to be announced:

Shaking hands with someone...I'll have to ask Brian who he is, I was holding a wiggly toddler!

Having his graduate scarf put on:

Receiving his diploma. And notice the guy to the left, in the back? Yeah, he's laughing because by now Nolan's screaming, "DOWN! DA-DA! DOWN!"

The handsome graduate:His biggest fans!

Night on the Town

We were invited to dinner on Friday night with some friends, so we decided to get a babysitter. We are borrowing Cheyna's babysitter and she is awesome! So she came over to our house and then Neda & Kypp picked us up and we headed to Destin to go to Osaka, a sushi restaurant. Our friend Roxanne met us there! Oh my goodness, folks, I can't even begin to tell you how phenominal the food was, not to mention the service. SOOOO YUMMY!!!! Then, with full and content bellies, we headed across the street to The Grape, a wine bar! It was so fun to try different kinds of wine and Neda & Kypp even treated us to chocolate fondue (as if they hadn't already done enough). It was a wonderful evening!
Roxanne, Neda & Kypp:
Brian & I: The ladies:Kypp "kissing" Brian (we were doing kissy face poses):Brian eating fondue:

Vacation Bible School

Last week I was a teacher's helper at our church's VBS. Our class was one of the 4 year old classes and we had 19 kiddos! Luckily we also had 3 youth (high schoolers) helping us "cattle" them around as we joked. We had to use rope that they would each grab onto, like a long leash, and then we would lead them from one activity to the other, constantly looking around to make sure one didn't "escape" or wander off or join another class. Nolan got to go to the nursery during this time. 5 days, 8:30-12:30. I think he had a blast the first half of the week, but wasn't so happy by the end. Wed afternoon I was taking one little girl to the bus and we passed his class and he saw me, but I couldn't get him. I could hear him shouting "Mama" the entire length of the hallway and my heart broke into a million little pieces. I couldn't go get him for another 10 minutes, but it felt like eternity to me...and I think to him, too. He's been extremely clingy all weekend, but that could also be in part to teething/yet another cold (we both got colds from being at VBS). It was truly an amazing week though and it's so awesome to see how much all the kids learn about Jesus. The theme was "Take the Plunge: Jump into Jesus" so it worked out well in decorating the classroom. We live in Florida, so the beach gear was easy to come up with! Here's a picture of the sanctuary, fully decorated (they did such an awesome job, I was awe struck)!

Here are some things I have learned from teaching a class full of 4 year olds:

*They have to go "potty" ALOT (but hey, at least there are no diapers).

*Apparently I am a germaphobic, slightly. I never knew this. Was it having a kid myself? I don't know, but after I held the cute little hands of a 4 year old, I was running to the bathroom to wash my hands.

*Teachers are saints. Seriously. I have never been so wiped out. I have always thought teachers were awesome and a blessing, but now even more so.

*Kids have an endless supply of energy.

*I also learned that being away from Nolan consistently, every day, was much harder on me than I would have liked to think. It was good for both of us, it really was, but oh how I love playing with him and snuggling him and having him make me laugh!!!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Night Night

Nolan was riding his "horsey" the other day and decided it was a good place to nap. So he laid down his head and said, "Night-Night!"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Silly Silly Goose

What a goofball I have! Whenever Nolan eats all or most of his food, I act really surprised and say, "Where did all your food go?" And then he lifts up his shirt & points to his belly and we all laugh and laugh. Soooo funny! Well the other day I said, where are your raisins? And he lifted up his shirt and... Here he is laughing, because the raisin in the belly button genuinly surprised me (he had stuck it in there, then put his shirt BACK over it) and I was laughing hysterically.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Billy Bowleg

Saturday morning I woke up to get Nolan and Brian told me to go back to bed, that it was my "turn" to sleep in. I really wanted to get up, but when someone's twisting my arm...so I fell back asleep for about 45 minutes, into one of those glorious deep sleeps. I awoke to the cutest little voice saying, "Hi! Hi!" And I opened my eyes to Nolan standing beside me, preparing to climb the bed and jump around! And I smelled something yummy...Belgian waffles. That's my kind of way to wake up! Brian and Nolan made us breakfast and it was super good. Then we got ready and headed to FWB for the Billy Bowleg Festival. They have ships come in and act out pirate fights in the early evening, but we went in the morning. They were still shooting off canons. We walked around the different vendors and ate lunch and let Nolan play on the kids stuff. It was lots of fun, and VERY HOT!!!!
Here's Nolan & Daddy by the waterfront:
Here's one of those big jumpy-things. I'll think of the name later. Nolan was a bit hesitant at first, but I climbed in with him and sat on the edge and then he was off! He had a blast jumping around and being a total goofball!

This next one was like an upside down V. You climbed to the top on the ladder & then had to slide down the other side, which was just like a gigantic tarp filled with air. We figured Nolan would go up a few steps and then come back down...not so much. He scaled this wall pronto, then got to the top and said, "No. No. No." So Brian and I took turns sliding with him & once got him to go alone...he's pretty brave, in my humble opinion...check out these pictures!

I can't believe I am posting this picture, but I have to admit, if it were the other way around, I would. So I am braving it and putting this totally embarrassing (albeit funny) picture of me. Notice the nice candid photos I take of Brian? And this is the shot he takes of me...I'm so loved! By the way, I had NO CLUE this picture was even taken until I downloaded the pictures to our computer...he's so sneaky!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Love & Romance

Friday night Brian and I had a date after Nolan went to bed. It is actually our Friday ritual, but we haven't done it in a few weeks. Anyway, we decided to eat in the Florida room and it was very cheesy (I set it all up), but very romantic! We had a wonderful dinner and then snuggled up on the loveseat, drank some wine and chatted. Then Brian made us some cookies and paired them with mint chocolate chip ice cream. That's what I call a treat! (these are our TV trays smooshed together...so a card table is next on our list!)

Zoo Trip

Friday Brian, Nolan and I met Nadia & Tristan at the Sasquatch Zoo. It was Nolan's 3rd time going, I believe, and each time it gets better! He loves feeding the animals, especially the goats. Of course what we couldn't get him away from were the ducks! The staff was out and about that morning and we learned extra cool factoids about the animals. We even got to pet a python. I tried to be brave (I gave it a pet)...Nolan was a bit more brave than his Mama, though! Here we are at the entrance:

Nolan feeding a lama:

Nolan and Tristan...best buds!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Playdate & Lunchdate

Yesterday Nolan and I went to a playdate at the Splash pad in Niceville. Nadia & Tristan were there, along with Megan and her daughter Haley & baby Evan. It was very warm and we weren't the only ones who had the idea of going to the splash pad. Nolan had lots of fun splashing in the puddles and running circles around the park. He walked up to me with a pair of (pink) crocs, saying "shoes shoes" so we had to find the owners of them. Luckily the little girls' mom thought it was hilarious. But when he tried to steal a little boys lunch, I knew the playdate was over and it was time for us to head to base to meet Daddy for our lunch! I picked up some wraps and a smoothie, then we picked up Brian and headed to the pond by his work. It was SO pretty & shaded and peaceful. We munched away and then went to feed the critters of the pond...wait until you see what they were (pics below).
Nolan at the splash pad:
Brian & Nolan eating some lunch (Doesn't Brian look handsome in his Blues?):
View of the pond/lake from our picnic table:
Look what we got to feed (see the bread in his mouth?):
At first there were a few, but then they you see a bunch of little heads pop out of the water and head towards us. It was insane, I have never seen so many turtles in my life!
Here we are hard at working feeding those hungry turtles!