Saturday, May 31, 2008

3 Decades

I can't believe that my twenties are now a thing of the past. Tuesday I officially crossed the line into my 30's. As Meghan says, I'm Thirty and Flirty!! Thanks so much for all the cards, emails and messages, I feel incredibly loved!!! My boys took me to my favorite place, Bonefish Grill for my birthday. Nolan behaved like such a little polite man, which is SUCH a blessing because Bonefish is the type of place where the lights are dim and there are candles on the is a mix between trendy and casual. Brian bought me a bluetooth for my phone so I can chat on the phone hands free. He also got me some new headphones for my Ipod so that the little tiny ear pieces don't fall out when I am running/working out. They are AWESOME!!!
Me at dinner, sipping my raspberry martini, the restaurant is known for them and they are YUMMY!

My handsome fellas:

Me with my #1 greatest accomplishment in my life!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day, one day late. Thank you so much to all our men and women who have served in our armed forces in the past and those that serve today all over the world. I was a bit haunted this weekend by the memories of how it felt to be without my husband during any holiday while he was deployed or TDY and felt so blessed and grateful that he was with Nolan and I this Memorial Day weekend. Even a normal weekend that's not a holiday can be really tough, but a long weekend, which is usually centered around family time, always was the hardest. My heart and thoughts and prayers were with those families this weekend, too! We spent our four days with only our family (most of our friends were out of town), and we had a FABULOUS time. We relaxed, swam in the pool, Barbecued, swam in the pool, went to the park, swam in the pool, napped, swam in the pool, went to the was awesome!!! Here's a modge podge of pictures from our weekend.
Nolan wasn't thrilled we were making him sit for a picture before he got in the pool...he was SO ready to jump in!

Okay, Daddy's in the pool, JUMP!It was a battle getting Nolan out of the pool...

Nolan in the splash pad.

"Here Ducks! Here's some bread!!"

Giving Daddy a smooch:

We got lunch at Sonic and went to a different park, one that's close to our house we found on the local parks website. It really shouldn't be coined a park. They said there was a lake and picnic tables. There was a pond...that was pretty icky and ONE picnic table. But we had fun anyway! Brian loves adventure!!!

That's the "lake" behind me.

The slide at the beach:Nolan pretty much never wanted to leave the beach once we got him playing in the sand and water. We packed a lunch and ate on the water...fantastic!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Just in case you didn't know, basements in Florida pretty much don't exist. Something about the soil not being compatible. I absolutely love our ranch house. I love that I'm not creeped out by the thought that someone is lurking downstairs, or worse, under the stairs. Yes, I am a paranoid freak. I love that the laundry room is next to my bedroom and involves no stair climbing. I do not, however, love the lack of storage. It's been challenge since day one, but recently we've just been stuffed to the gills. So among starting a slow, but hopefully long term, de-cluttering process, we decided to rearrange a bit. We moved the bed in the office/spare bed room to the garage. It took us less than a half hour and that included going through all the junk stuff under the bed. So we figure it would take about 10-15 minutes to move the bed back in. I say this to emphasize that even though this room is now a play room and office and we breath much easier and feel more at peace, it takes no time to move the bed in so that you all can visit!! But for every day use, the bed was kind of a waste. The room is still a work in process, but here's the start of a very good thing!! Nolan loves it and so do we!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

But Blue Means Swim....

After being gone for 5 weeks, Brian was ready to come home, put his feet up and relax. But I had other ideas. Actually, we both agreed it was a great weekend to open the pool, which takes at least a few days. Saturday we began the process. Nolan wanted to swim right away, but we explained the pool had to be blue to swim in it. Andrew came over and helped Brian vacuum, which was a HUGE help and we're so grateful!!! By Saturday night the pool was already blue, which is much quicker progress than last year. So Sunday Nolan was very confused as to why we couldn't swim. In his defense it was a beautiful blue color, but it was still slightly cloudy and Brian had to tweak the chemicals. But Nolan keeps asking to swim."Waiting a few days" is torture for a 2 year old! But we got lots done inside and out this weekend and I am very excited!! The pool should be ready for swimming in the next couple days, whoo hoo!! We managed to fit in lots of giggles, tickles, and playing in the mix, so even though it was a "work" weekend, it was wonderful to be together as a family again!!
The boys adding fresh water to the pool. In the second two, Nolan is "splashing" Brian:
Splashing Daddy is tough, time for a break!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tiniest Snail Ever

Here's the snail. Doesn't look all that itty bitty does it? Here's the snail in front of Lightening McQueen, Nolan's favorite race car. The car looks enormous, huh? Here's Nolan holding Lightening McQueen.

Visit with Cardwell's

A couple of weeks ago Nolan and I visited Brian at SOS in Montgomery (SOS is Squadron Officer School and is a 5 week course that most Captains have to attend at some point. Brian is graduating today and I'm proud of him and ready for him to come home!!!!). The Cardwell's (who we know from Cheyenne) are stationed at Maxwell, so they invited us over for dinner. We were totally spoiled with their cooking, it was very yummy and we got to eat outside and enjoy the nice weather. Their son Hudson is 3 and he and Nolan had fun being up to no good all night! The following Sunday, we met them and the Bentley's for brunch. Dan and Becca are more folks we know from really is a small Air Force! After brunch we decided to go to a park to let the kids let of steam. It was so nice to reconnect with everyone and try to catch up on the last two years of our lives! Military life can certainly have it's challenges, but the advantages of connecting with someone almost anywhere you go is truly rewarding. Our wonderful hosts, Bryan & Julie: Hudson & Nolan: Brian pushing Hudson & Nolan on the swings. Becca, Dan & their beautiful baby girl (10 months), Abby:Becca & Abby:The whole gang minus the "photographer" and the two boys. It's hard to tell because she looks so fantastic, but Julie and Bryan are expecting their second in a few months!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Git R Done

We thought it was pretty funny when we saw Nolan mowing the lawn in his diaper. But when he willing wore these black socks, I knew we had lived in the south too long...

Abby's pleading with him to put some pants on before the neighbors see.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day morning we headed to church with the Vrabec's, followed by brunch at the club. It was a nice spread and Nolan was mostly well behaved thank goodness because his behavior can make or break my enjoyment level, especially at a place where toys don't come with the kids meals. After brunch we headed outside for some pictures in the sun. It turned out to be a gorgeous day, even though there were predictions for rain.

The Vrabec fam:

Abby & Nolan running outside after brunch: Too bad this shot is blurry! After Nolan's nap we headed over to Tara and Rob's for some dinner and playtime. Rob grilled out and they had a fantastic spread to spoil us mommy's. As you can tell, Nolan didn't have fun at all.

Staci, Dan & their three boys were there too, and Nolan was trying hard to keep up with the older two.

Tara with Alex:

Dylan jumping into the pool, with Nolan trying to mimic him (but he couldn't quite jump all the way over, so he'd climb then dunk himself under water)! Cameron's in the background waiting for his turn at a cannonball. Nolan and Cameron chowing down.Rob & Alex making the mommy's some yummy food!

My wonderful husband gave me the gift of shopping at Lowes for some flowers for our upcoming garden and front porch, which Nolan helped with. I'll post pics as we progress with the garden. I'm certainly not a green thumb, but we'll give it a go... I hope all my Momma's out there had a day filled with loves, kisses and relaxtion!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Because I'm Your Momma

Hey little man, can you believe we're celebrating our THIRD Mother's Day? Four, if you count when you lived in my tummy, which of course I do!! I thought I would carry on the tradition I started last year, an ode of sorts to you, handsome buddy, for all the immeasurable joy and love you bring into my life.
  • Because I'm your momma, I get eskimo and momma kisses each night before bed. And when I tell you "Night Night Baby" you say "Night Night Baby" right back to me.
  • Because I'm your momma, I know corn and peas are the only veggies you'll eat and that all other veggies are a battle. I also know that you learned to be pretty sneaky somewhere and have actually caught you slyly (so you think) spitting carrots out and putting them on a different area of your plate. Or placing them in your lap.
  • Because I'm your momma I know that your favorite thing in the world is ice cream and I adore watching you relish each and every bite. If only all of us adults could figure out a way to enjoy the little things in life with such joy, we'd live in a better world.
  • Because I'm your momma, I am the one that most often puts you in time out. Which means I have to listen to your sobs and though right now you think it doesn't bother me, or I am mean (or both), someday you will know how my heart breaks. Of course sometimes I'll admit the time outs are as much for me as you, because Nolan, you are a wild child.
  • Because I'm your momma I know you are an independent, wild, all-boy, mischievous, free spirit. If we could bottle your energy we would be billionaires.
  • Because I'm your momma I get to laugh all day long at your facial expressions, which are priceless and unique. And so goofy, but, my oh my, you make me laugh.
  • Because I'm your momma, you take extra special care of me. You always remind me at meals that I'm thirsty. "Momma, get some water (or milk). You thirsty." In the rush to get meals served and all the hullabaloo, I often forget my own drink, but you remember and it's so sweet. You also have recently taken to telling me to drive with both hands. "Momma, use other hand. Like this" (at this point you mimic driving). I didn't even realize I drove with one hand so frequently. But you catch all my bad habits, don't you?
  • Because I'm your momma, I got reprimanded for saying "crap." Shame on me anyway, but I didn't realize you knew it was bad until you pointed your pudgy little finger at me and said, "Momma, don't say that word." Touche.
  • Because I'm your momma I get to listen to you ask "Where are we going?" at least 1,ooo times in any given trip (in town, not long distance). It can drive me batty. It can drive me up a wall. But Nolan baby, I know the day will come where I will miss that sweet voice, asking that same question over and over...where you'll have much more interesting things to do than badger me with questions.
  • Because I'm your momma, I get to make you snug as a bug in a rug at night. You ask like this, "Wub as a wub as a wub?" Even though you could probably say the right words, I haven't the heart to correct you. You'll figure it out soon enough.
  • Because I'm your momma, I get to watch you feed the ducks and fish. And when other kids come along you rush at them and immediately give them a piece of bread without me even suggesting it.
  • Because I'm your momma I get so much joy listening to you say grace and pray at night. I love hearing you say, "YAY GOD!" after you finish. It took me a while to realize you learned that from mom's day out, but I just love it!
  • Because I'm your momma, I know how sensitive you are. Since I am just as sensitive I know two things. Your life will be much more painful when people hurt you. And your life will be much more full because you have the capacity to love much more deeply. I know from personal experience the good outweighs the bad, honey bear, but just know when you are hurting I'm always here and that for everything in this life, there is a season.
  • Because I'm your momma, I know you've had a bit of a tough year. Daddy was gone for four months straight, but you amazed me with your strength and resilience. I hate to say this, but as military dependants, we're just getting started. Our family has experienced other trials as well, but through it all, you were literally an angel, bringing me hope and healing that are immeasurable. We're a closer family because of our trials and our faith in the Lord is only strengthened.
  • Because I'm your momma, I know your best friend is Abby. I know that the first person you ask to see in the morning is Abby and when you get a scrape or bruise, after you're cuddled in my arms you wail, "My Abby!!!" Since she's your best friend, I get to love her lots too and can't imagine your childhood without her. She's a beautiful and amazing and quirky ballerina princess whom we adore. I know that the minute you two see each other you squeal in delight. It's not long before you're fighting over a toy and this often continues for the entire visit, but as soon as it's time to leave, the tears start. Too bad adults can't figure this "lets not hold a grudge thing" out.
  • Because I'm your momma, I not only play monster trucks, I know their names. Grave Digger is your favorite and rightly so, he's pretty cool.
  • Because I'm your momma I know that you when you are truly belly laughing, you almost always get the hiccups. This scared you at first, but now you just keep laughing and ask for some water.
  • Because I'm your momma, I know your favorite color is GREEN.
  • Because I'm your momma, I get to sing to you each night. The same songs, in order. "Star song pleeeease." Next, "sunshine song, please." And finally, "Moon song, please." Sometimes when you are wanting extra cuddles you request "boat" song and demonstrate to me how to row the boat.
  • Because I'm your momma, I get the BEST hugs and kisses in the world...from you, of course. Recently at the beach you were trying to follow me to the car while I got some things out of the car. Cheyna told you to stay by her and I was slightly annoyed you weren't listening better. But when I reached you, you simply said, "Kiss, right here on lips." (and you tapped your lips with your finger, like I often do when I catch a kiss from you across the room). And you gave me a big smacker. You chased me down just for a kiss? This is what dreams are made of my precious.
  • Because I'm your momma, I get to make things all better and cuddle with you when you have a nightmare. It makes my heart hurt that you dream of anything less pleasing than monster trucks, beaches, and ice cream, but please know you'll never be too old for me to comfort you when you do.
  • Because I'm your momma, I could go on and on here, telling you how every little thing you do amazes me and leaves me in awe. I know most mommy's think they have the smartest kid in the world and I'm no exception. Your smarts, coupled with your wit, charm and sensitivity have already made our world a better place and I can't wait to see what the future holds for you. I just wish sometimes it wouldn't get here so quickly. Nolan, to say I love you doesn't do my love for you justice. Thank you for being my baby, my son. Thanks for making me stop and enjoy the little things and sit in the present and be still. Thank you for making me a better person. Our most recent game is the following conversation. I love you ("I love you"). I love you more ("I love you more"). I love you infinity. ("I love you fintty"). I love you infinity times ten!! (I love you...pause...TEN!!!!!). I love you beyond infinity times one hundred thousand my handsome, beautiful son.
And because I'm your momma, I got to be "that" mother who cried when I saw that you made this beautiful picture for me at Mom's Day out.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Beach Bums

Brian has officially coined Nolan and I beach bums, and I think he's right! The last few weeks we've packed a lunch, beach toys and chairs and spent a day on the water. It's so funny that last year Nolan barely liked walking on the sand, but this year he throws his whole body into a sand pile (or pit), then runs in the water to clean off! He loves splashing and is getting more and more brave with how deep he'll go into the water and is even voluntarily dunking his head. Here are some pics from last week.
I love how hard he's concentrating here!
Teamwork rocks. Mmm, lunchtime.

I love this pic of Abby watching the bird.

I know that it's only fair that you think I'm terribly mean by putting my son in time out AT THE BEACH for pete's sake. But really, I warned him, and throwing sand in our friends faces is always a fast ticket to time out. Boy was he MAD!