Monday, March 31, 2008

I Count My Blessings

I count my blessings. I thank God today first and foremost, for my wonderful family, whom I too often take for granted. I thank God for my amazing friends, who are always there to help us before we can even form the words on our mouths to ask for the help. And they go above and beyond that call, and help in ways that truly leave me in awe. I am thankful for our dogs, that they can love so unconditionally. I am thankful for the flowers pictured above, given to me by my beaming, proud, red headed son. If I wasn't enjoying the pure perfection and love of the moment when he presented me with these freshly picked flowers, I would have snapped a picture. But there are some memories we can only hold in the photo albums of our hearts. We found this "vase" and the flowers made it almost a week. And not once did I pass them without smiling. I am thankful for my husband who is my rock and my best friend in only ways that he can truly know and understand. Here's another picture of the joy I get to experience everyday. My sweet miracle, cuddling with me on the couch last week. I believe we were watching the Bee movie for the 25th time (a present from the Easter Bunny). So, I apologize that I'm way behind on blogging, but I'm just temporarily away. Counting my blessings.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Birthday Party (times 3)

This past weekend we were invited to Nolan's friend, Nathan's, 3rd birthday party. Because Nathan has 2 friends who were born within a few days of each other, they did an extra big celebration for all 3 kiddos. It was a great time, with a 2 bouncy castles (one with a slide), a clown who painted faces and made balloon characters, pinatas and some yummy food. Not to mention a gift bag that Nolan still asks for everyday. The weather cooperated and it was so nice to be outdoors and with friends.

Nolan, Zach (Nathan's younger brother) & Abby chowing down on popcorn. The popcorn was a HUGE hit!!

The birthday kids digging into their cakes after they were sung to. Chey, Andrew & Abby:Brian & I. We would have loved a family shot, but Nolan wasn't about to come out of the bouncy castle (pictured in the background). Daddy & Nolan (who won't give up the popcorn still):

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's!!

I couldn't resist doing another year of the "shrinking bear." Here's a recap.
And 2008:
Nolan made this cool St. Pat's crown at Mother's Day Out today. I could barely get him to take it off for his nap! I really don't know how my little boy is growing up so fast. I was looking through pictures at this time last year and in most of those, he looks like such a "baby." Now he's my big boy, but always my baby. These days are so precious and the reason I am so LUCKY this St. Pat's day is because I get to be Nolan's Momma everyday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mmm, Grilled Cheese

A couple days ago Nolan and I had grilled cheese for lunch and Nolan was behaving and sitting so good while I made the sandwhiches on the island that we ate lunch there. This is like a HUGE treat for Nolan because I am just nervous about him sitting up so high (long way to fall), so he was sooo excited. I told him he was a "big boy" and he just looked and me and said, "Yeahhh." These toddler days can be tough, but it's moments like these that make it so worth it!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fine Cuisine

This past Saturday Andrew's parents were in town and they invited Brian, Nolan and I to join them all for a dinner, compliments of Susan and Peter. We were spoiled rotten, sitting in the living room chatting while they cooked us a wonderful dinner. I discovered they actually teach a cooking class at a local kitchen store in their hometown! The meal began with made from scratch crab cakes, with a delicious spicy sauce. The main entree was stuffed gnocchi, beef tenderolin and asparagus. For dessert we had fresh berries topped with freshly made whipped topping. We left with happy and full bellies and it was of course great to see Peter and Susan! Thank you so much for including us, we had a blast!!
The kids ate first. Abby wasn't really grumpy the whole time, but this picture is funny!
I think I tried about 3 times to get a shot of Peter, but Andrew kept getting in the shot, he really is a camera hog.
Here's a picture of the yummy crab cakes!
Sunday we went to Tara and Rob's for some pizza and beer. It was so great to see them, and I'm really bummed I forgot to snap some pictures. Alex is getting more adorable by the minute, so I am going to HAVE to get some pictures of that hansome fellow up here soon!! Thanks for having us over, we had lots of fun catching up.
We always feel great after a weekend spent with friends!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monster Truck Show

Friday night Brian and Nolan had a boys night out. After the three of us had dinner together here in town, the boys headed to Pensacola to see the Monster Truck show. Turns out they were in the 9th row and the seats were really good. We were a little worried the noise of the trucks combined with how big they are in person might scare Nolan, but Brian said he LOVED every minute. There were lots of kids and families there and Nolan stayed out until past 10 pm! He fell asleep on the way home, of course and slept in some on Saturday. The most popular of the trucks is "Grave Digger." Nolan actually has had this hot wheels truck for some time, so Brian brought it along and Nolan was so excited to see his "toy truck" in person!! In some ways I wish I could have been there to see Nolan's reactions, but I know that it's such a blessing to have Dad/son time. I had big plans to go shopping, but the idea of an empty house was too tempting, so I went home, cleaned up a bit and then watched a movie...with the volume turned up!
Here are some pics and a video of the fun night.

Nolan when they first got there, taking it all in. Probably not sure what to think just yet.

Some trucks, with the Air Force truck being the one closest to the camera:This is the donkey kong truck and is the newest truck. Grave Digger: Having lots of fun! Here's a video of Nolan whooping and hollering, as well as waving his arm. Brian said he just picked up all of that from the people around him, so funny! Those are ear plugs in his ears to help with the noise.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 Happy Birthday to my sweet friend, KIM!! I am so happy I got it right this year! As a testimony to the kind of friend Kim is, I have to share this story. A couple of years ago, while we were still in Cheyenne (Kim and myself), I called her on March 5th to make birthday plans with her. I totally thought her birthday was the 8th, for some crazy reason. I asked if we could go to lunch "on her birthday this Wednesday (the 8th)." Kim totally played along. She didn't say, "hey ding dong, today is my birthday" she just kept quiet. It was a few days later that I realized my faux pas and we had a good laugh about it, but she's the kind of friend that if I thought her birthday were March 8th for the rest of my life...she would just let it slide. I love her for that and so many other countless things. I can't wait to plan a trip to see you guys. We love you and I hope your birthday is filled with laughter, fun and snuggles & kisses from Avery!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hanging Out

Saturday morning we decided to head to the mall and see if Nolan wanted to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap. He said he did and was very excited, but we had a feeling once he saw the bunny, he may not be so thrilled. Our intuitions were right and he enjoyed saying "hi" to him from a distance and waving to him, but when we tried to get him to sit on his lap Nolan wasn't having it. He kept talking about the Easter Bunny later, so we'll just see how it goes, but I imagine next year it may be less scary. We didn't want to force him to sit on his lap, why traumatize him? Anyway, then we did a little shopping and of course rode the carousal. Then we headed to lunch. Brian and I had been craving Red Lobster forever, we haven't eaten it since we've moved here. It seems kind of strange to go there when there are so many other places with fresh fish, but we couldn't stay away from their cheesy biscuits a day longer. They have good lunch specials, so we figured it was a win-win. Plus, the Red Lobster here is like the ones on the commercials. Right on the water! We were seated next to the window so Nolan got to watch the boats go by during lunch. After we stuffed ourselves, we noticed that there was a park within walking distance to Red Lobster, so we headed over for a little bit and Nolan played until he started falling asleep in the swing. It was a wonderful day! It would have been perfect, except Nolan ran a fever that night that was really high and had Brian and I pretty scared. So Sunday we layed low and watched movies so Nolan would just take it easy and get well. He's much better now and we're so grateful!
This is as close to E.B. as we could get Nolan:
Daddy & Nolan on the carousal:Brian at lunch: Outside of Red Lobster: Daddy & Nolan looking at boats:Yay, a slide!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Movie Date

Last Tuesday Cheyna and I took Nolan and Abby to see the Care Bear movie in Destin. Of course, no movie date is complete without a meal first, so we enjoyed Panera Bread for lunch, then wandered over to the theatre. Once we got in the movie and got our popcorn, we were all settled and ready to go. The theatre has booster seats for the kids, so they were able to sit in the chairs without falling through. Abby and Nolan looked so grown up and so independent sitting there chomping away on popcorn, drinking their lemonade's. They were being soooo good and yet the movie just wouldn't start. 5 minutes goes by, then 10, then 15. At about 20 after I went to see what was going on. There were a few other mom's with their toddlers, so we were all a little anxious about how long we could keep them under control and in their seats. Turns out they forgot to program the movie to start, so as an added bonus we all got free passes to come again, yay! Nolan and Abby really liked the movie and it was only about an hour, so it really kept their attention the whole time. Nolan asked if next time Cheyna and I could sit one row up, apparently we were cramping his style.
Here are the kids before we went in, waiting for the theatre to open. Don't let them fool you, they sat still out on the steps for all of 5 seconds.
This is Nolan saying "cheese" which is actually much better than when you tell him to smile. Then he tries really hard to "smile", but instead of smiling he looks like he has to poop.
I stole these pictures from Cheyna's blog, they were too cute (thanks Chey)!