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Showing posts from July, 2015

Off the Grill II, a Revisit

Last year we tried a new restaurant on Signal Mountain called Off the Grill II. We had heard good things about it, but we had a disappointing experience and had not returned.

Recently some friends told us they had tried the BBQ and it was pretty good. So last Friday, when our local standby was packed, we decided to give it another chance.

I was a little concerned when we first walked in the door. The location is a really old house and it has a distinct old house smell to it. Jack (age 3) immediately plugged his nose and kept asking, "What is that smell?" I shushed him and let him pick our table. There are four rooms with seating to choose from. Incidentally he picked the same table we sat at before.

We quickly picked our entrees as our noses adjusted to the smell. I picked the Ribs and Daniel chose the Salmon. The plates were big enough that Jack just shared with us. The food was really delicious. My fried okra and baked beans had a smoky taste to them that paired nicely with t…


It feels like my brain has turned to mush. The last three months of waking up with Isaac during the night have definitely taken a toll. Until I get to regularly sleep through the night again, and my brain returns to normal, I will just keep doing my best to piece my thoughts together...

Last Thursday was a frightening day. The older I get, the more experiences I have that fill me with fear. Evil abounds in this world and these instances remind me that this world is not my home.

I remember how horrifying it was to watch the September 11 attacks, live on television, from my university student center. More recently I remember the shock of hearing about the Boston Marathon attack. I never expected to be so close to such an attack.

I normally listen to the radio while I am in the car, but for some reason I had turned it off on the way to my boot camp class at the Y. I believe I was having a conversation with Jack about why we obey the laws while driving. 

When I arrived at the Y, my boot camp …

Isaac is Three Months Old

Isaac experienced quite a few firsts during his third month of life. 
He celebrated his first Father's Day...

He went on his first trip to the Chattanooga Aquarium...

His took first road trip to Arkansas (9 hours there, 8 hours home)...

His attended his first 4th of July celebration...

And his first trip to go swimming in the lake.

Looking back, it's kind of surreal how similar Isaac is to his big brother at this same age (though he is much bigger). 

Jack at 6 months, Isaac at 2.5 months.
He has discovered that he can put his fist in his mouth, he is going through some excessive drooling (and chewing – maybe he has a tooth coming?), spitting up, and constant babbling – just like Jack at this same age.

Though I think Isaac actually talks more to us that Jack ever did. Especially in the evenings when he gets really chatty. I believe we have a little night owl.

On Father's Day, we had an interesting experience: Daniel was holding Isaac at the dinner table and he started getting fu…

July Traditions, 2015

Traditions are important to me, and over the years our family has developed some pretty good ones for various holidays. However, it hasn't been until the last couple of years that I have felt like we have settled into a good 4th of July tradition.

When we were first married, I really thought our 4th of July tradition would be an annual backpacking trip. But we have only been able to manage that a few times, and with little ones it will probably be some time before that is our reality again.

Moving to Signal Mountain has provided some new small-town traditions that I have fallen in love with. These traditions feel quintessentially American. On the morning of July 4th we start things of by attending the annual Signal Mountain Bike Parade. Local firetrucks and police cars kick things off with their sirens. They are followed by boy scout and girl scout troops, baseball teams, animal shelters and various other local organizations. Anyone can join in. 

Lots of families participate with the…