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Showing posts from May, 2013

Lowe Mill Docks Concert Series and a Hike

We finally made it to a concert at the Lowe Mill in Huntsville. Unfortunately it is the last one of the season and we have to wait until September for it to start back up.

Before going to the concert, we made a pit stop at Blevin's Gap for a 1.5 mile hike in the woods. We love that there are trails so close to civilization. If we ever have a chance to move to Huntsville, we will try to buy in the Jones Valley area – it has Hays Nature Preserve for biking, trails at Blevins Gap for hiking or running and the Flint River for paddling. We LOVE this area.

After our short hike, we made our way over to Lowe Mill. We were starting to doubt the GPS, when Daniel said, "I see razor wire... we must be close." Sure enough, Lowe Mill was right around the corner. Why are art districts always in sketchy areas of town?

Anyways, we unloaded our camp chairs and blanket and settled onto a grassy spot in the back with a full view of the stage. The event was very relaxed. Most people brought the…

See Jack {early-mid April 2013}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.

See Jack ride his horse. {early April}

See Jack try on his new bicycle helmet for the first time. {early April}

See Jack tell me what a cow and a sheep say.
{mid April}

See Jack put his sunglasses on {and take them off}.
{mid April}

See Jack play with his remote control car. 
Getting it to drive off the furniture is one of his favorite pastimes.
{mid April}

Our First Bike Ride in Two Years

Two years ago Daniel and I took our last bike ride. I was 3 months pregnant and we did 10 miles on the roads close to our home. It was the last time I was on a bicycle.

Two months ago I found a baby carrier for a bicycle at a consignment sale that had all of the parts with it. For $15, I snapped it up. It had barely been used. Unfortunately we have had a lot of other things going on and Daniel needed to fix one of the shifters on his bike before we could hit the trails again.

Today he finally had the time to fix his bike and mount the baby carrier. So we took the opportunity of the gorgeous day to head to the Hays Nature Preserver in Jones Valley – about 45 minutes from our house on this side of Huntsville.

Before leaving the house, we did a practice run to make sure that Jack would tolerate being on the back of a bicycle. We stuck him in the carrier and he cried. I took a quick picture before Daniel took off down the driveway. Within moments, the tears turned to giggles. He loved it. 


Memorial Weekend Cookout

Since we live 50+ minutes from most of our friends, we don't have a lot of opportunities for hosting parties (it is easier for us to drive to meet up with people than to expect a group of people to come out to our place).

Anyways, we were pleasantly surprised when 16 of our friends (and 4 toddlers) were able to make it out to a cookout at our place on Saturday.

We have decided that having company is great in motivating us to finish up projects – we finished the railing on our rear steps and even unpacked a few boxes that were still waiting. We've been in our current house for almost 3 years and still have a handful of boxes that need to be unpacked.

Our yard was a big hit with all of the toddlers and our back porch seemed to be a favorite with the adults (it's our favorite part of our house too). 

Friends with kids headed out after dinner, while everyone else stayed and enjoyed visiting together on the porch until almost 9pm.

We are so blessed to have gotten plugged in with ou…

See Jack {early April 2013}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years. 

See Jack play with a dandelion. He hasn't quite mastered blowing the seeds yet. {early April}

See Jack play ball with Sophie. He thinks this game is hilarious. {early April}

See Jack play peekaboo with a box.
{early April}

See Jack play with his shopping cart... and consider attempting to stand on it.
{early April}

See Jack laugh at {with} Mama. He also says a few of his animal sounds for me.
{early April}

Words Vol. II

I love listening to Jack try out new words. As a first-time mama, each new word makes me want to cheer out loud. At the very least I am grinning ear to ear and sometimes laughing at each attempt. I think I will have many favorite stages about motherhood {along with some not-so-favorite}, but this toddler-learning stage is pretty cool.

To add to my last list of 35 words, Jack has added the following words in the last couple of weeks:

36. tractor
37. cracker
38. key
39. bi-per (diaper) – he will say this when he needs to have his diaper changed
40. side (outside) – also #30 for inside
41. turkey
42. pickle
43. two – we count numbers and as soon as we say "one" he follows with "two"
44. FoFo (Sophie) – we're working on this one
45. slide
46. shorts 47. shirt 48. pants – all words he uses when getting dressed
49. hair
50. men (Amen) – he says this at the end of every prayer, or when he thinks the prayer should be over

Family Date Night(s)

When you become a parent, one of the main pieces of advice that you will read (or be told) over and over is that you need to continue to date your spouse. As a gal who was blessed with 10 years of dating my spouse (pre-baby), I totally understand the importance of working to stay connected. As a parent of a toddler (who lives in a rural area and whose closest family member is almost 2 hours away) reality is that (for us, right now) this task is equivalent to trying to climb Mt. Everest.

Don't misunderstand me and think that we don't spend time together. Typically (at least once a week) we end up grabbing a RedBox and collapsing on the sofa... where one or both of us may fall asleep. Not exactly romantic. 

Alternatively, when we visit family, we always have good intentions of leaving Jack with whoever we are staying with and sneaking off for a date, but we are typically exhausted from traveling and dates rarely happen. Once we snuck out to grab a latedinner and we both struggled …

Conversations with Izzy

Before Jack or Levi came along, my niece Izzy stole all of our hearts. And while we are enjoying the antics of two little toddler boys running around{creating chaos}, having Izzy around to speak her mind can be quite amusing.

Here are a couple of interactions I had with her while driving this past week...

Saturday night, Daniel and I picked up Izzy and took her to my Aunt Becky's to celebrate my cousin's graduation from college.

Once everyone was buckled in, we had the following conversation:
Izzy: Do you have Tarzan?
Me: No, honey.
Izzy: Well, what are we supposed to do in the car? (we had a 45 minute drive ahead of us)
Me: You can either talk to us, or take a nap.
Izzy: I don't want to take a nap.
Me: Then you better talk to us.She actually did great and entertained Jack {or he entertained her?} all the way to my aunt's house. #firstworldproblems

See Jack {Mother's Day Weekend 2013}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years. I have been trying to stay in chronological order, but this set of videos is from this past Mother's Day weekend.

See Jack work on his climbing skills... by the end of the weekend, he was doing some serious playground climbing. WITHOUT SUPERVISION.
See Jack ride a big slide with Daddy.

See Jack and his cousins do some "mechanical" work on the the Tonka Truck.

See Jack and Izzy ride the Uncle Mark Wagon Roller Coaster. The kids all love this game. 
I think it must be exhausting for Uncle Mark!

See Jack and Izzy bounce on the trampoline. 

See Grammy share her Mother's Day dessert with Jack.

Just for kicks, this was the lawnmower we watched at Centennial Park in Nashville. Jack pointed it out to us while swinging by saying, "Tractor" which is currently one of his favorite words.

Jack is 18 Months (1.5 years old!!!)

Things I would like to remember from the last three months...
(I made need to go back to monthly updates for the rest of the year since he is growing and changing so much each day. Be warned that this is a super long post!)

If you have ever wondered about nature vs. nurture, having a child to watch grow is the ultimate way to see how much influence you have. I believe both nature and nurture play a part, but it is evident with Jack that many of his traits are inherent in who he is. These traits often are eerily similar to Daniel. As Daniel likes to say, Jack has the "knack." If you don't know what the "knack" is, check out this video.

Every day when Daniel gets home from work, Daniel takes Jack out to the mailbox to "get the mail." This involves Jack meticulously removing each piece of mail, one at a time, and handing them to Daniel. Then he puts the mail back in the mailbox and starts the process again.

Jack also loves to move things from different drawe…