Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Redneck Welcome Home Party

Brian and I figured a fun get together was in order to celebrate his coming home, but we wanted things to be very casual and low key so that we could really enjoy everyone's company and just kick back and relax. So we decided to throw a 40 oz Friday party. Those of you who knew us in Cheyenne remember this party well. Or maybe you don't, but we can't be held responsible for that. We sent out invites with the instructions to dress redneck and so our party really blossomed into a full on Redneck Party! Everyone got into it a lot, which is why it was such a hoot and I have no doubt this will be an annual party. We ordered pizza and served snacks that fit the ticket. I think the pictures will do most of the explaining. We had a FANTASTIC time and we're really grateful to our friends for coming and hanging out!!! We feel beyond blessed!!! We were sad a handful of folks were sick and couldn't make it, but we hope to see them in the very near future!
Kypp and Neda. Notice Neda's "pregnant belly"! Hilarious! She is so creative and even made a belly button that poked out!
The kiddos enjoying some pizza! Do you like Nolan's tattoo and do-rag?? The three hooters girls, I know my dad's going to kill me. But Abby's shirt takes the adorable cake ("future hooters girl")
Dan, Stacy & their youngest (of 3), Brandon:Okay, if there were a contest, I think that this baby would have won. Donovan's adorable even with a mullet!!!! I am so bummed I didn't get a family shot of the 3 them!!Myself (sporting my scorpion tattoo), Neda & Cheyna:Kypp, Brian & Rob:

This is Tim and Becky and Friday was our first time meeting (Tim and Andrew work together). I was relieved that they were as crazy as us and that we didn't scare them away (yet). Rob, Andrew and "pregnant" Hooters girl Cheyna:

The snacks. The dessert tray was compliments of Chey & Andrew. Neda and I had the same idea about the "fancy" cheese and crackers!

Part of the crowd. Chris, Nadine (another girl who dressed up pregnant) Rob, Becky, Tim, Andrew, Chey, Brian, Neda & Kypp. So...yeah, this was later in the night. What can I say?

Christmas in January

Brian, Nolan and I celebrated Christmas last week while Brian was off work. Grandma & Grandpa M had gotten him a train table and set, so Brian set that up and we put it under a sheet in the living room, along with an array of gifts from us and from Santa himself. I bet you didn't know Santa worked year round, did you? He does, though, for all kinds of special circumstances! Anyway, we had a magical, blessed day, made complete with a ham dinner! Nolan was very excited about his new toys and over the moon for his new train set/table!
Nolan with his new fish puzzle. Abby has this toy and Nolan LOVES it!!

The doggies opening their presents! Of course Haley helped Nolan with almost all of his gifts!

Wow, who knew this was under that sheet?

A family portrait (minus Haley & Tootsie, but it does take TWO dogs to take a photo)!

Monday, January 28, 2008


Brian goes back to work today. I'm sad, but we knew it would come eventually. We had a great time and I can't wait to get some pictures posted. But for now, I am off to get Nolan ready for mom's day out, workout and get some grocery shopping done. Hope everyone had a great weekend!!! Pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome Home Brian!!!

Monday was a fantastic day...Brian came home and made our family complete once again. It is still surreal that he is home, but obviously fantastic. He's on base right now in-processing and then we have him all to ourselves for TWO WEEKS! Whoo hoo! Brian looks fantastic and he and Nolan are re-bonding wonderfully. Nolan is loving it and adores his Daddy to pieces, and in fact he took to Brian way quicker (within seconds of seeing him) than either of us thought he would. Here are some pictures of our homecoming to hold you over for a while. It may be some time before I post, but who knows? I wish I better words to describe how we're feeling right now. I'll admit it's an adjustment because we're both so used to doing things "on our own." But it's also terribly romantic, like we're on a first date or something. I forgot how Brian can make me laugh with a single glance. I forgot how warm his hand on the back of my neck feels and how protected I feel. I forgot how stinkin' organized he is...okay, I didn't forget, but I laugh at how he is going around the house getting things in order, all the while with a sheepish grin. I forgot how watching your husband and your son play and laugh together can make you feel like the wealthiest person in the world. I'll let you know how many other things I forgot...or at least pushed to the back of my mind while he was away to make it more bearable. Brian, we're so so proud of you. You are amazing and awesome and you are our hero. This picture is fuzzy for a reason. I am snapping a shot of Nolan holding the sign and Brian just comes waltzing around the corner. I wasn't expecting him for another 5 minutes or so, and obviously we were going to be perched standing with our signs and flags. You can see Brian's legs in the photo. The pic is of course fuzzy because as soon as I saw him I started jumping up to hug and kiss him!

Our family!

Daddy and Nolan goofing off at lunch. Brian chose Firehouse Subs for his first meal of choice and I don't blame him at all!! It was yummy as always!

You can tell from these photos that Nolan's not over the moon for Brian or anything.

A kiss for Daddy!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Years Eve

On New Years Eve Kathy and Dennis said they would be happy to watch Nolan so that I could have a night out with some friends. I reserved a ticket to the Pageant, a concert venue in St. Louis that Andi and Mark invited me to, along with a group of friends. We met up at Julie and Brandon's house, where they hosted a pot luck dinner. I met Julie (and Brandon, actually) when Andi was engaged and we did shower/wedding plans for Andi--it was so great to see them and their beautiful new home! The rest of the group I met that night, but it felt like we had all been friends for ages, they welcomed me right into their group and we all had a memorable and fantastic night! As an added bonus to me, I found out that day which date Brian will be home, so there was real reason to celebrate. Especially since it was our first NYE since dating that we weren't together. Apparently Nolan was an "angel" and did great! Thanks so much Kathy & Dennis, I don't think I realized how much I needed some time away until I was out, but it was very nice!
Our hosts Julie & Brandon, cooking yummy food! All the food was awesome!!!

Andi & I before we left. The girls! Me, Jen, Andi, Kayla & Julie:

Dr. Zhivegas (the band...they were awesome)!

Mark, Me, Andi, Jen, Brandon & Kayla:

I love this picture of Andi & Julie dancing (the night awaaay):

This is Ryan, Jen's hubby, posing with the AWESOME egg/sausage casserole that Julie & Brandon made for New Years morning. It was sooo good and hit the spot!!!

I Hate Bugs

I am a girly girl. Bugs of pretty much any kind freak me out and give me the eeby jeebies. Not a fan at all. But the bug I hate the most would have to be the stomach bug. Nolan was hit with it late Sunday afternoon and it was sad and scary, since he had never thrown up before. He was back to himself by Monday, but by 4 Am Tuesday it had struck me, and I think it hit me much harder. Actually, I know it did, but it still could have been much worse. Yesterday was pretty much the miserable, but I had to be reminded that I would survive (because you know at the time you honestly feel like you might not?). Nolan was a CHAMP yesterday and was so sweet about letting me lie in bed and on the couch all day. I tried to play with him, but it was in short intervals and he was happy to watch Cars and Polar Express multiple times. For a two year old who has been cooped up for a few days because of him being sick and finally feeling 100% with the sun shining, that's no easy feat. Today I have what seems like a lingering cough, but I feel human again and I am hoping we will be able to get out of the house and do SOMETHING. ANYTHING!! Hope the stomach bug stays far, far away from all of you, I wouldn't wish this yuck on my worst enemy!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Trains, Trains, Trains

The same day that we were lucky enough to see Jack at the firestation, Kathy found an article in the paper about a train display. It was set up at a local hardware store and it was A-MAZING! There was basically like a mini-country set up of figurines, houses, trains, planes, anything you could imagine. Nolan LOVED it and only tried to climb over the glass a few times!
This explains it better than I can: This is only about 1/4 of the set up. You'll notice also there is a track hanging from the ceiling!

Gramma & Paw-Paw with Nolan:

Gramma and Maddie:

Nolan and Paw-paw:

Trip to the Firestation

Most of you probably know, my brother Jack is a firefighter. So of course our trip to St. Louis would not be complete without taking Nolan to see Jack at the firehouse. It was so much fun and Nolan was in complete and utter awe. He was pretty intimidated at first, because those firetrucks are BIG up close. But we just let him get used to it and eventually he warmed up to it and was very excited. Uncle Jack let him press the horn, the sirens and he even gave us a ride in the firetruck and the ambulance! So Nolan was pretty much on cloud nine! Jack, thank you SO much for this priceless experience. We're so proud of you and all that you do.
Nolan's first look at the inside of the truck:Nolan and Momma in the truck. At first Nolan would only sit on my lap, but eventually braved sitting in a seat all to himself!
Nolan in front of the ambulance:
Not only is Uncle Jack a firefighter, he's an awesome UNCLE (he's not such a bad brother either)!!! Jack, Nolan, myself, Mom & Dad:

Kathy's Family Party

The day after Christmas we had one more holiday gathering at Kathy and Dennis's house, with family from Kathy's side. She did an after-dinner "dessert" spread and we just gathered around and watched the kids have fun. Nolan was off-the-wall wild that night, I think in part because we were literally circled around his toys and he felt like he had an audience. It was fantastic to see everyone and get the chance to chat, even if it was in between pulling Nolan off the ceiling fan.
On the far left you can see half of Dave and Emily's face. Emily is Brian's cousin and Dave is her boyfriend. On the right is Anna (Bri's cousin) and Jeannine, Brian's aunt.

This is Nolan and Lauren (Jeannine & Bob's daughter):Dave had Nolan belly laughing hysterically for probably 1/2 hour straight! It was the funniest thing ever!

Nathan & Dennis:

A close up of beautiful Lauren:

Nolan sitting on big-cousin Josh's lap (and Snoop is the adorable Pomeranian cuddling up at Josh's feet):

Spreading Christmas Cheer

I know these pictures are being posted waaay late, but I think you'll agree with me, that it's better late than never. This is Brian at his Christmas party. He and Santa had fun spreading good cheer, handing out candy canes and I heard something about dancing on a bar, though that can't be denied or confirmed as of yet!
This is Lani, the woman that works in Brian's office with him.