Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ice skating

My dad and I took Emma ice skating this weekend.  My mom loves to go too, but she has a hurt knee, so she couldn't come.  And Brent's not totally in to skating:), so he stayed home with Merritt.  Emma is somewhat of a dare devil, which we quickly realized when we took her snow skiing 2 year ago.  She had never skated before, but had a great time, and had a lot of fun.  I see us going back again for sure!

Next time, I suggest going early, or not on a weekend.  It was super crowded.

I needed this time with Emma....it was so nice to just be her mama for a few hours:)

Monday, January 15, 2018


It snowed last week, much to my pleasure! It could snow all winter long and I'd be a happy camper.  I love it - playing in it, looking at it, driving on it, every part of it!  Thankfully, the rest of my family does too....or at least 3/4 of them.  The verdict is still out on Merritt.

Every time it snows, people lose their minds and can't seem to drive.  Every year, we get a total crisis on our back road.  It's a hill with a curve, and people in evidently can't seem to figure out how to drive down it, or go up it.  So, there was a huge pile up.  I saw several wrecks from my back window.

Finally, Brent went out to help.  He spent 2 hours pushing people up the hill (who somehow can't figure out when they see 5 cars stopped on it, that maybe their little sedan may not make it up either).  Then directing cars down the hill.  Most drivers were people who had no business being out - they hated snow and had no idea how to drive in it.  I imagine most worked jobs where they couldn't leave early to get home, and that makes me sad.  I felt bad about running to Harris Teeter earlier in the evening when it had just started, thinking about the cashiers who probably got stuck going home.  To be honest, it got slick pretty quick.

Brent finally got it all cleared, after 2 hours.

This was the path of someone he had pushed up the hill....

He actually ended up driving a lady home about a mile away.  She had left her car at Food Lion and started walking because she had already gotten stuck a few times on Garrett Road.  She was cold, and didn't have the right apparel on for trekking home in a snow storm. She also burst into tears when we talked to her because she had been at the hospital with her husband who has cancer.  We brought her in our house too warm up while Brent got the truck ready, and he drove her home.  In just 15 minutes, my whole perspective was changed - what a blessing to have supported her that night, and please pray for her and her husband.

Unfortunately, Brent had to work the next day, but Emma and I played while Merritt napped. 

An older girl a few houses down invited Emma to sled with her and they had a blast.  I was house locked because of Merritt napping, but her parents took them to a better hill.  Emma stayed out all afternoon!  I was happy and sad at the same time - I loved the alone time, but she's growing so fast:)

We didn't get to enjoy the snow with dad, but we are hoping for another storm this week...and Brent is off the following day!  So....bring on more snow!!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Year's fun

Like I said in my last post, we didn't stay up until midnight, but did hang with some great friends the days leading up to and following New Years!  I am grateful for old and new friendships!

The only day warm enough to take kids outside!!  A walk to Joe Van Gogh with my dear friend, Kathryn and her daughter!

Dinner in Raleigh to meet Brent, who was working late, and an impromptu meeting with another dear friend, Corrie, her husband and daughter.

New Years Eve fun at our old neighbor's house.  We miss these families so much!!

Love these friends!!  I don't see them enough!

Finishing our night next door with the dearest of friends!!

And started the year off right at Picnic with Brent's oldest and dearest friend!  

It was sooo good to see friends, old and new.  A great end to 2017 and start to 2018:)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Year, new thoughts...

I spent the start of the new year sleeping...or resting...rejuventating...recovering...however you want to spin it.  I don't think I've seen a midnight since Emma was born actually!  And I have no problems with that at all!
This year, I have so many thoughts racing through my mind.  2017 was a BIG year for us.  It was full of a lot of ups and downs and challenges and changes.  It was monotonous and unpredictable at the same time.  Coming out on the other side now, I can start to really focus on getting into a routine, getting some of ME back.  I am forever a mother, but I do miss the things that made me ME and not MOM all the time.  Slowly...and in time...they will come.  2017 taught me that these phases do end, and they will change and that chaos and sadness do not last forever.  2017 also taught me that I am stronger than I thought I was, and that if you think it, you can do it.  I knew early on that I could not change my circumstances with a sleepless and nursing only baby.  But I could change my attitude.  I could chose to be happy and thankful or I could chose to let it consume me.  

In 2018, I have decided I want to be more intentional - with my thoughts, actions, and friendships.  I want to continue taking care of me with working out and making good eating choices (note I am not dieting and I will never cut out alcohol or carbs or sugar...sorry...wrong girl.).  I want to focus on real friendships and how I can make their lives better.  I love it when people do the small things for me (like remembering my birthday with a small gift, or bring my coffee, or a meal)  Those small, but thoughtful gestures mean the world, and I want to do it more for others.  I want to really think through my words and choices - in every aspect.  I want my children and husband to be proud that I am their mother and wife.

This will also be another year of changes, but I am so grateful for the stability of my family and friends, my church, and God's unwavering love for us.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Christmas 2017

I will preface this post with the confession that I was super nervous and anxious about this trip.  For one, Merritt had never travelled that far or been on a 8 hour car ride.  Second, Brent was really busy at work, so I was responsible for everything to get us ready, even him.  Third, it seemed like everyone was getting the stomach bug leading up to the trip and I am terrified of the stomach bug.  

But I will continue to say that this was by far the best trip and it went soooo much better than I could have dreamed.  Merritt never skipped a beat with naps and sleep at night.  Emma did awesome.  No one got sick.  We had safe and easy travels.  Family time was great.  The weather was great.  I could go on and on.  God is good for sure.

Merry, Merry Christmas indeed.  God is so so so Good!!!

Monday, January 8, 2018

December recap

Since I am so behind, I will do a short recap of December....although when you throw Christmas in and travels....there's a lot to cover!

Merritt loves when her daddy comes home - and to be honest, we all LOVE when daddy gets home!!!

We went to Floyd, VA to get our tree - an annual tradition for over 25 years!  

Dinnertime is the most chaotic, messy, annoying, frantic, wine guzzling time of the day.  But every once in awhile, I get a moment like this and all is well.

Tree decorating - Merritt was super pumped to wake up from her nap and see trinkets and ornaments all over for her to destroy/play with.

Emma loves to do the star....wonder how we will do this next year when little sis wants in on the fun??!!!

Emma had her bi-annual cardiologist appointment.  

They decided they would do an ultrasound and if all seemed fine, release her completely!  She did really well - asked lots of questions, which helped calm her nerves.  She was scared but did really good.

We got the all clear!  No more visits for Emma! 
[Merritt....however, has her first visit in January]

Fitch Lumber did a Halloween thing back on October, so I thought the Santa event was a great one to do as well.  Merritt ate an entire piece of pizza by herself, so her night was made.

And we got a Santa visit and picture - BOOM!
I really love their business model of supporting the community - it's a model that Brent and I both really admire.

My sweet friend, Kelsie, took our card photos this year, and I actually sent them out before Christmas!!  I did forget some people, and sadly....they haven't been sent yet.  Oh well...Happy MLK day maybe???

We weren't sure what to expect with Merritt and the tree...but she didn't destroy it too much.  There were always a small sprinkling of ornaments on the floor....but she never really attacked it or tried to eat it...so....SUCCESS!

We went to Bath to visit Brent's family and had a great time.  It was cold and we did a oyster roast and celebrated birthdays.  We tried for a kid picture, but sadly this was the best we got.

My nieces introduced my to snapchat....[eye roll] and I spent way too much time playing with it....as did Emma.

Brent and I did our obligatory dock picture.....complete with new hair styles.

Again...snap chat....

I took the girls to Nordstrom Bistro one night for dinner and some shopping.  Did I mention how much I LOVE this place?  They have the best food, great kid food, and a good atmosphere.

Merritt tried to escape and run away but quickly remembered that she's a mama's girl through and through.

I helped Emma compose her letter to Santa - she spoke it to me, I wrote it down, then she copied it.  She was super proud of herself, and I was too:)

Merritt found a newfound love of avocadoes...

Brent and I had a day date of errands and Christmas shopping, while these sweet sisters watched the girls.

Emma got to hang with Ariel at her good friend, Brooklyn's, birthday party.

Then our small group had a farewell dinner for some dear friends that are spending 6 months in London (rough life!).  We are missing 2 awesome couples in our group...but here are most of us.  I love, love, love our small group!!

The day that school got out, Emma had her singalong at the church.  She wasn't into it, which is so weird because she LOVES to sing and dance and act and pretend.  Oh well...

They made gingerbread houses afterwards.

Then Emma and I went for a special day date to the Bistro (where else?!) and some last minute errands.

It was a busy, busy start to December, and the next day we left for our trip to Pennsylvania for Christmas!!!