Our Story

My photo
Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Soccer Camp

This fall Ethan will be playing soccer. So this week he participated in a soccer camp to get him ready for fall. When he was in the mood to participate, he did wonderful! I loved seeing him on the field dribbling his ball and learning some of the basic moves like "walking the dog." There were days that he was really into it and worked so hard and there were days where being at camp was not quite as high on his priority list but all in all, it was a great opportunity for him and a good way for him to exert some of that abundant energy he always seems to have :-)

Here are some action shots from the week:

In this shot, he's in the yellow jersey
 Ethan is in the white t-shirt
Here he is in the blue
 And in these shots he's in the gray shirt
 And then the times this week when he was not so into it...
 For the most part, he did pretty much what I expected :-) It should be very interesting to see how soccer goes when we start practice in a few weeks!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Day at the River

This weekend we spent a glorious day in Ellijay with friends at their river house. Perfect weather, wonderful friends, great adventures, and yummy food made for one of the best family days we have had in a long time! We arrived early and returned home way past bedtime but the boys made memories they will not soon forget and the pure exhaustion of a napless day was completely worthwhile :-)

Our home for the day right on the Cartecay Riverfront

As soon as we arrived, the boys found the creek leading to the river that runs beside the house and decided to explore that first. Considering the white water started right in front of the house, Mommy was a little safety overzealous and made them wear life jackets.
Right up from the house there was a sand bar and calm water, so Daddy tested out the rope swing while the boys played in the cold water
Then Ben and Ethan went tubing
And Caden had a turn with Daddy as well
After water adventures, we dried off and played on dry land

This was probably the favorite dry land activity...stacking the tubes on top of each other while someone "hid" in the middle
Or taking rides in the tubes while the adults played badminton(so sad I missed taking pics of that)
At the end of the night, the boys got baths and put on their PJ's for the ride back home. Before we left, Caden found a Lite-Brite and was entranced with it while the adults got to finish catching up. Lite-Brite...What a blast from the past!

The boys were asleep before we made it to the highway. We had the best day catching up with old friends and are so looking forward to the next time we can all get together again!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Braves and Steve Miller Band

Last weekend we got to enjoy our favorite team play and a concert from the amazing Steve Miller band afterward. I especially loved being able to share it with Ben, my mom, and my brother and sister-in-law. We had a fabulous time belting out the lyrics to some of our favorite songs!

 They will probably not appreciate me posting this picture but I was so glad to be able to spend this time with them! 9

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ethan's 4th Birthday Party

When you think of July in the South you typically think of hot temperatures, bright sunshine, and high humidity. At least, that's what I think anyway. And it was exactly what I was thinking when I planned Ethan's party months ago. Our theme was a "Big Splash Backyard Bash." When it was all set up, we had 3 water tables, 2 kiddie pools with slides, one baby pool for the little bitties, a triple lane slip-n-slide, a sprinkler ball, a sprinkler caterpillar, and a "waterbed" to bounce, slide, and jump on. We also made homemade bubble blowers and the kids had to dig/squirt the bugs out of giant sea colored ice cubes. Tons of activities to keep the kids cool in the hot summer sun. I also planned to do the party mid-morning before the heat got too unbearable for the adults and set up all of the chairs under the shade of the deck. NOW...having said all of that, this last month has been more out of whack than any summer I have ever experienced. Some days are hot and sunny, but most have been overcast and rainy. Such was the case on Saturday morning, Ethan's big party day! Luckily, we only had a few sprinkles here and there while we were setting up and by party time there was no rain. But it was a little cool especially since ours was a water party. And even though the children got a little chilled, the adults loved the temperature. All in all, I think everyone had a good time even though there wasn't any sunshine. It kind of put a damper on the theme and color scheme, though.

I am so extremely thankful for Mimi and Uncle Chad and Aunt Ashley who spent the weekend with us and was able to help with the set up and take down of everything! The show would NOT have gone on without them :-)

 We had neon orange, lime green, and bright blue colored kettle korn served in matching sand pails, sugar cookies in our matching colors, and a summertime snack mix to munch on while playing.
 The party path to the backyard
 Squirting and digging the bugs out of the giant ice cubes
 Ethan and his school friend, Jacob, on the slip-n-slide
I placed inflatable boogie boards in a laundry basket with a squirt bottle of baby shampoo to make them slide extra fast ;-)
 It was a full house :-)
 After water play, we moved to the front for lunch. BBQ pork sandwiches for the adults with hot dogs and Uncrustables for the kiddos. To go along with that, pretzels, chips, cole slaw, potato salad, cheese cubes, fruit were served as sides.
 The kiddos sat on sheets set out just for them
 Then we sang to the birthday boy
 And cupcakes in party colors were served right after with a Teddy Graham laying on a beach
blanket under an umbrella

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ethan's 4th Birthday!

Last week was Ethan's 4th birthday. I've had a hard time with this one. Even though he doesn't always act like it, our little man is 4 years old. Up until now, I have been able to keep myself convinced that he's still more baby/toddler than little boy but I can't say that at the age of 4. Four means that you are close to entering school, that more of your clothes have to be ironed, and that I can't say "when you're a big boy..." anymore because he truly is becoming a big boy :-( I'm not sure that I'm ready for that yet.
Well, aside from my emotional state, he had a fabulous day! Ben took the day off and we gave him 3 choices to pick from. 1) Go to the water park 2) Go to Everland Play Place or 3) Go to the mall for lunch and a cookie, then ride the carousel and the train. Surprisingly, he chose to do #3. So, we loaded up the car with ourselves and 3 other friends and off we went. After taking care of everything on our list, he wanted to try the bungee bounce trampoline with his friends. Something that I would have always said no to before, but as a big boy, he got to jump and he had a blast!

 Just a little unnerving for this Mommy but he loved it!

Happy 4th Ethan! I pray that your prayers continue to be as heartfelt and honest as they are now and that you keep your strong will so that you will not be easily influenced by others.

Harper's 1st Birthday

We are so glad that Ben's neice, Jenny, along with her little ones, Samuel and Harper, have been down from Tennessee to visit! We rarely get to see them, but this visit has been great! We ran the Peachtree, then got to celebrate both Harper's and Ethan's birthdays together! A few days ago, we went to Gainesville to celebrate sweet little Harper's 1st birthday! 

She decided the smash cake was pretty good!
 Sweet angel had the most precious little dress on while opening her presents!
 Happy birthday Harper!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Everland Play

A couple of weeks ago we visited a new place to play and it was amazing! A little boy's climbing paradise! The boys were everywhere sliding, climbing, jumping, crawling, and bouncing. It was a wonderful way to get some energy out. The weather has been completely crazy with a ton of rain so we have almost exhausted our indoor options but this one was worth the wait.

 This one was their favorite! 
Sliding into the ball pit but I left that part out of the shot :-(

Everyone had a great time until Spiderman showed up. Ethan(not Caden) then completely melted down at the thought of being so close to him and I had to sit with him on the couch in the restroom until Spiderman finished playing with the children. I will be so glad when he outgrows this fearful stage! Makes a Mommy sad to see him so anxious :-(

4th of July...a little behind

It's an annual tradition in Ben's family for everyone able to run to participate in the Peachtree Road Race. It's the world's largest 10K and the course goes straight down Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Ben stayed with the boys this year and I ran. It was a perfect day to run! We thought, however, that the bottom would drop out at any minute...thus the ponchos. I shed mine about mile 2, then later regretted it as the bottom did drop out at the end of the race. It was a cool morning for July and I ran my best time yet but I'm not sold on trying to navigate my way through thousands of people :-)

After the race, we enjoyed wings and a low country boil complete with homemade peach ice cream at Ben' sister's house. The boys got some great family time and we were worn out by the end of the day! All in all, it was a terrific way to spend the 4th, despite the rain.