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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.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Trip to the Farm & Collier's Birthday

The day after Ethan's birthday we left for the farm. This time we loaded up the bikes as well as Caden's R/C car, Ethan's drone, and the Rocket Copters. They had a blast! There's always a ton of stuff to do at the farm but having some of their own things made it even better! 
 The Rocket Copters were a hit, even Uncle CJ liked them ;-)
While Ethan has always liked Payton, this trip he became his special friend. Most of his time was spent finding "hay" to feed him or going down to visit him by the fence.  
 Grandpa's Mule was in the shop on this trip so Granny's golf cart was their favorite mode of transportation around the farm. They rode with Granny over to check on the garden.
The got a little adventurous on their riding tactics and convinced Granny to ride through the chicken house all the way to the end...upon which they got stuck and could not turn around. After bending a chain trying to get out, Ethan asked Granny if they were going to tell Grandpa or let it be a "surprise" when he found out. Granny thought that was hilarious!
 The men were working on installing new feed bins and a weigh bin so the boys were right there to "help" ;-)
Then they explored all of the tractors and equipment under the big shed, got a ride in the truck with Uncle Pat, took a spin on the loader, rode in Uncle CJ's Mustang, rode on the 4-wheeler with Grandpa, and...
 They spent a little time looking for the gator in the pond
 Then Grandpa got them some cane poles and they went fishing. Uncle CJ helped them bait their hooks and helped Caden a little with his casting...
 Even the gator was curious to see what was going on, his little eyes floated to the top of the pond.
 Then CJ taught Ethan how to bait his own hook
and...
 
He got his first catch! Love this face!!!
 Then he was ready to bait his hook again and recast  
 Caden was not about to be outdone, so...
 his was next!
He wasn't about to take it off the hook, so Grandpa helped him out :-)
 After that, Ethan baited Caden's hook for him and they fished a little longer...even in the rain! That evening, they talked Grandpa into taking a ride in his truck to look for the rattlesnake they were certain they had seen! Ummmm, nope, they didn't.
 The next morning, they rode down to see Payton one last time.
 Ethan climbed in to say goodbye...until Granny made him come out for fear he would get kicked. I don't think she realized how much time he had been spending down there. I am pretty certain it wasn't the first time he had been in there...oops.
 Of course, Granny had help feeding him!
 I believe he has a new best friend :-)
 As they were leaving, Granny stopped to show them multiple streaks through the sky from jets flying high above.
We left the farm and headed to Mimi's to spend the night so that we would be ready to celebrate Collier's 3rd birthday the following day. The next afternoon, the boys jumped until their hearts were content at The Matrix Gym where Collier had her birthday party, then we headed back to Uncle Chad and Aunt Ashley's to watch her open her presents.  
We headed back to Atlanta after an evening spent with them. 
Whew! What a super fun, long week!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ethan turns 8!!!

We had the best time celebrating Ethan's 8th birthday! After several years of big birthday parties, we decided this year to allow him to pick any place he wanted to go and let him ask a few friends to go with him. Summer birthdays are hard because everyone travels, but thankfully the 3 friends that he asked to go were all in town! Of all of the places he talked about visiting, he finally decided ZooAtlanta. So we started out bright and early on his birthday morning to pick up our friends and spend the day celebrating him! 
First stop, Dunkin Donuts for birthday doughnuts!
 Then on to the zoo!
 These sweet boys were precious and so easy to spend the day with! Unknowingly, I dressed Ethan and Caden in gray t-shirts and James David, Jesse, and Ethan were all dressed in bright yellow. I guess their moms' were concerned that I might lose them ;-)
 
 We took a break to play on the naked mole rat playground, then...
 on to the pandas! 
 Followed by the petting zoo!
 And kangaroos 
 After seeing almost everything at the zoo, we stopped for the train and...
 Some more playtime at the larger playground
 Before moving on to the carousel...what's the deal with the bunny ears!
 While it's not all in pictures, we saw EVERY.SINGLE.EXHIBIT. at the zoo (including the reptiles...eek!!!) and as we left, the boys posed as their favorite zoo animal of the day.
Once we got back to Suwanee, we stopped at Smallcakes so that everyone could pick out a cupcake and we sang "Happy Birthday" to Ethan, then ate all of the yumminess :-)
The boys had worked up quite a thirst by then, so we left Smallcakes after devouring cupcakes and headed to Chick-Fil-A for some cold drinks and some more playtime in their playroom.
Whew! What a full day! We dropped all of the boys off around dinnertime and picked up Daddy for Ethan's birthday dinner. It was his pick, so he picked dinner at Firehouse Subs followed by ice cream at Culver's. 
I think 8 is off to a great start! 
Happy birthday big boy!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

4th of July Weekend and G Braves!

We celebrated the 4th with family and while they were in town, we even had a little party for Ethan's birthday. I did not have my camera out to document the occasion but Mimi, Uncle CJ, Uncle Morgan, Uncle Chad, Aunt Ashley, Collier, and Caroline were all here! It was a great few days hanging by the pool and catching up :-) This is pretty much the only picture because we were documenting how cute Collier's bathing suit was ;-)
Mimi was able to snag a picture of the cake. I had planned on doing cupcakes, but at the last minute Ethan said he wanted a Minion cake. We improvised ;-)
 Then Chad caught this sweet moment of me and Caroline wearing her "Sweetest Niece Ever" onesie!
Everyone left on the 4th so instead of doing fireworks in the cul-de-sac like we normally would, we decided to get last minute tickets to the Gwinnett Braves game and see their fireworks show. It was sold out but we were able to get 4 Suite level tickets...what a rough way to watch the game ;-)
The boys had a blast in the suite. When they got tired of sitting outside, they went inside to sit on the leather couches and watch the flat screen.
After the 4th inning, they got to take a break from the game, walk down to get ice cream, and jump in the bounce house and play some of the other games along the 3rd base line. 
Then we headed back up for the rest of the game
We won and Chopper came on the field to wave the victory flag!
The night ended with an amazing fireworks show from the comfort of our suite. It worked out really well because Caden decided the fireworks were too loud for him so he was able to go inside, lay on the couch, and play on the iPad while we watched the show.
What a great way to spend the 4th of July!!!