Quick Note to Friends and Family:

I use this blog to highlight some of the bigger things in our life - holidays, adventures, cute photos, etc. So, it may be a few weeks in between updates. If you want details about the day to day stuff, be sure to check out my 365 blog. (link should be on the sidebar) I update it every Friday.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


This is the first year away from extended family, but I have to say keeping the holidays small and simple this year worked well for us. After dealing with all that is involved with moving and spending the last few weeks working hard to settle in and get the house how we want it, especially all the big projects we did the week before Christmas because Sam had the time off...well, staying home with my 3 favorite people was just what I needed.

Christmas Eve:
The day was spent out shopping - for furniture, not with the crazies at the mall. We bought our first "real" dining table and chairs (we couldn't pick them up until a few days later but they're here and we've really been enjoying them). Then we came home and frosted cookies for Santa.
Our Christmas Eve tradition is to give the kids new pajamas that they get to open and wear that night.

And this year we stayed home in the new pjs and watched a movie until it was time to set out the eggnog and cookies for Santa.

And make sure the elves were ready to go too.

Thoughtful Kaitlyn even left a little sign for Santa
Christmas morning:
Tyler had a bit of a stuffy nose that woke him up at 4:30 AM and Kaitlyn heard us moving around and woke up too. I convinced the kids to climb in our bed and managed another hour and a half of cuddles and dozing before Kaitlyn couldn't wait any longer to see if Santa had arrived.
Obviously he did.
We all got pretty spoiled for Christmas. Kaitlyn was so happy to get the DS (handheld video game system for those of you not in the know) she had asked for. Santa also surprised her with an art easel and we got her a Fur Real Friend cat.Tyler got all kinds of fun loot like a bunch of hot wheels tracks (which got set up in the sun room and played with off and on all day), a new bike, and the big (36" in long) truck and trailor with a backhoe (that my parents and Wyatt chipped in on).
We also gave them both robes that neither one wanted to take off all day long.
My top gift of the day was a new lens for the camera. Most of our other gifts were too big to fit under the tree and we had already been enjoying them. Like Sam's new TV, and his new miter saw which he used to build out all the closets the week before Christmas (which I think he is also counting as my gift :) ). And the dining table I already mentioned.

Kaitlyn gave Tyler a plush Mater (the tow truck from Cars). Ty gave him a big hug right away.
At the end of it all, the kids sat in the midst of all the discarded wrapping paper. Tyler had just finished opening his final gift and we all got a laugh when he said, "ok that's enough."

We then ate our traditional gingerbread waffles. And spent the rest of the day playing with toys and cuddling on the couch watching movies. Ty did get outside to try out the new bike and he did great riding it. It's a 16-inch-er and a bit too tall for him to climb on by himself but boy does he cruise once he's on it.
Sam calls this his GQ pose :)

Anyway. A very merry Christmas at home it was. Hope everyone else had a good one too!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

(our Christmas card photo - taken on our new front porch)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Oh he's a cute little guy! We just love our newly turned 4 year old! And before we got too far past his birthday I figured I'd better do a little photo session and give him a post all his own.
At 4, Tyler is very athletic and handy. I'm not sure if this goes for all boys, but Tyler wants to try everything the older kids are doing and usually he can keep up pretty well. He's mostly fearless too, which probably helps (and scares us all more than I'd like). He has massive amounts of energy too and spends a good amount of his time simply running around our new house or trying to jump onto or off things he shouldn't.
Tyler is a HUGE fan of anything with wheels - dump trucks, backhoes/trackhoes, and tractors top the list but really he loves any type of vehicle from train to forklift to race car. He can spend hours lining them up and having them "work."
He's got a cute little sense of humor and likes to tease or cause mischief. He drives his sister crazy trying to give her "nuggies." And to demonstrate - this is how our little photo session went:and
but with a few good ones in between. Honestly there were more decent ones than I thought when I was taking them. Even the one outside where I forced him to shiver in the cold for a whole 30 seconds before giving in and going back inside
We just love this kid. He's always ready for a hug and give the best ones around!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tyler is 4!

Our first big event in North Carolina - Tyler's birthday! He thought he turned 4 a month ago when we had his party but we couldn't just not celebrate :)
We were spending the weekend with my friend Audrey and her kids so we had cake for breakfast (coffee cake, that is).
And when we got home we had our own little party with Sam. He was really happy to be around to celebrate a family birthday for the first time this year.

Ty insisted that this was his "backhoe birthday" so we doctored up the store-bought cake with a toy from his backpack and he was happy.

Hope he wished for furniture! haha. We were still a couple days away from the day the furniture could arrive so we were eating birthday cake off plastic plates while sitting on the floor!

And the gifts! He got his first set of Hot Wheels tracks and a scooter.

Have you ever seen anyone so excited to get new pants?!

I think this little bundle of energy had a great birthday. We love you Ty!

Our New House!

Welcome to our new house! I've had a lot of requests for photos of the house so I thought I'd take a minute to post a few shots. This is where the kids spent the first night - on the floor of one of the storage closets in the bonus room in the single sleeping bag we had the presence of mind to send with Sam. I had to take a pic because I thought it was funny. And to document that yes, we camped out in our house for um...5 nights before our furniture arrived. Not exactly pleasant, but it was nice to be able to at least unpack the car.
Ok on to the real photos of the house...

The front:

The back:
I think we're really going to love that screen porch

The kitchen:
It isn't huge but as I was unpacking boxes I found I still ended up with empty cabinets even with all my vases and serving pieces put away (yay!). I love the finishes they used in most of the house - dark wood, stainless steel and granite!

The fireplace in the living room:
I know you want to see the whole room but honestly it's just a big old stretch of white. I'll post "After" photos when I get things put together and decorated.

The dining room:
The prettiest room in the house! Love the wood floor, love the moldings and paneling! Just need to get some paint on the walls and it will be beautiful. We aren't going to use it for dining though - this is my craft room!

Ok I had to post these last 2 photos for Jacalyn. She has told me more than once how the builders out here really go the extra mile when they finish off the houses. And look how right she is! This is the doorway in the garage to the mud/laundry room. Not only are the walls finished and painted...

but they covered the foundation in brick and get this - molding in the garage! Do you see that Jac?! It's hilarious. But nice, of course it's really nice :)

Other features I love about the house are my jetted tub. The big yard. The mud room (we found those are hard to find out here). The fact that we can fit both cars in the garage (once we clear out all the boxes). The walk-in closets in all the rooms (3 cheers for STORAGE) - and I'm not the only one on this one. The kids found this closet in the playroom the first night and were quick to claim it as their own and had their backpacks unpacked before we'd even brought all the bags in from the car.

So there you have it. Off I go to open some more boxes...