Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We had a wonderful low-key day, which was exactly what I wanted this year. On Christmas Eve Evan asked me how early he was allowed to get up Christmas morning, and I told him 7am. He was in our room at 7:14am then next morning, ready to open presents! Santa was really good to the kids this year and brought them each a tablet (one LeapPad & one Innotab), plus an adorable wheelbarrow for Jack & a gears set for Evan.

Mark and I purchased a dress-up box for Jack this year. The only disappointment is when he has to take his costume off for nap time. Jack-Jack has mastered the Pouty Face. :-)

Evan received quite a few board games this year, including Zingo, Twister, a Hopscotch mat, I Spy Quest, I Spy Flipster, and Operation.

We have played many, many rounds of Twister so far. Evan is pretty flexible and does a great job following directions, but half the fun for him is getting twisted up on the mat and purposely falling over.

And I had to post this picture of Rocket. I was working in my office when Mark took this picture, and it cracks me up. I'm not even sure how Rocket got in this position, let alone stayed there.

My three boys. This is my favorite picture of the week... all (mostly) smiling, happy, and thrilled to be spending some time together.

Jack and I spent most of the day in and out of doctor's offices, so I'm exhausted. Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

I hope everyone has a wonderful & relaxing Christmas Eve. We are getting ready to Skype with my parents and sister so they can watch the boys open their Christmas presents. We did this last year, and while it was chaotic, we enjoyed feeling connected to our family... from 3,000 miles away.

I pulled out my iPod today and took a few pictures of our Christmas decorations, baking projects, and our tree.

(left to right, top to bottom)

1. At the beginning of the month I created a December calendar on our chalkboard in our kitchen. Everyday Evan crosses off the day and tells me how many more days until Christmas. He took great joy in telling me today: "Only ONE MORE DAY!!". And I love the notes Evan has written at the bottom of the calender.

2. Mint drop cookies. Yum. My mom made these cookies every year when I was a kid, and I have continued the tradition. They have become a favorite of Mark and Evan's, too.

3. Our tree! I love how it turned out this year. It's sparkly & festive, and we have a great selection of ornaments. One of Mark's co-workers, Scott, helped us decorate this year & we had a great time. Jack was so super helpful & tried to put every icicle ornament on one branch.

4. My cute little snowman salt & pepper shakers. I purchased snowman dishes from Target almost 8 years ago, but we've only used them once (the first year). They have been packed up since them... but not this year! We will be using them tonight & tomorrow.

5. My mom sent me this beautiful Lenox Santa in our Christmas box, and I have it sitting on our side table in the living room. Jack likes to touch the tree Santa is holding and shriek: "I touched Santa's tree! No touching!". That kid is going to be the death of me!

6. Nativity scene, also from my mom. She found it after Christmas last year & it has been stored in our closet since then. I placed an Ikea star behind it and I love it. :-)

7. Poinsettias and a very silly snowman. I really wanted to have poinsettias in the house this year, because they are so festive, but I was concerned I would kill them. I am proud to say that after 4 weeks they are still looking good & haven't dropped any petals. Go me! I can't remember the story behind Mark's snowman, but he loves it so I proudly display it... this year on our bookshelf in the living room next to one of my poinsettias. The red and white doilies under my poinsettia are made from Papertrey Ink's Persian Lace die.

8. A few years ago, for Christmas, my Uncle gave me a set of three crystal candle holders. They, too, have been sitting in our closet, waiting for the perfect place to put them. I purchased 3 green candles from Michaels and I am displaying them next to the other poinsettia in our living room. So far Jack hasn't tried to touch (or break) them, so I plan to keep them out year-round.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Before and After

Mr. Jack desperately needed a haircut, which he finally received earlier this week. After two people asked me if he was a boy or a girl, I knew it was time to cut off the curls! Doesn't he look so much older? I think he does. And he isn't constantly wiping strands of hair out of his eyes anymore... he is very happy about that. I'm sorry for the horrible pictures... I quickly pulled out my cell phone so I could get before and after shots, which resulted in grainy photos. But grainy photos are better than no photos, right? (And his haircut isn't uneven in real life... he kept running his hand over his new short hair & the front got swept off to the side.)

I have been home with Evan all week, who is really, really sick. I thought he was on the mend & ready to get back to school, but his fever spiked again tonight. It looks like I am going to be home with an antsy 2 year old and a sick 5 year old again tomorrow.... lucky me!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

This is what happens when I go to the bathroom:

Do you see that face? That is Jack's "I'm NOT going to smile for the camera & I'm NOT going to listen to you!" face.

We've been getting that a lot lately.

Luckily he mixes in lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles.

The twos are so very up and down, happy and sad, playful and frustrating. But it's also full of laughs, giggles, tickles, and seriously silly moments.

And apparently, drawing all over everything. With green marker.

At least he's cute. :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

T-Ball | A Layout

Karla has created some amazing kits the past few weeks, and I created a layout using one of my favorites: Protectors Set 1.

(All supplies are Karla Dudley Designs. Font: Georgia.)

I just love the Warehouse Alpha I used for the title, "t ball". And if you have a few minutes to spare, check out Karla's hybrid card tutorial here. Her cards are beautiful and you can even download a couple of free products.


Is anyone else getting into the holiday spirit? I am! I have two beautiful poinsettias in my living room (that I haven't killed yet... a miracle for sure), hanging snowflakes above our bookshelves, and a beautiful nativity scene in my kitchen. I have a few more crafty projects planned, but with holiday parties, presents to wrap, Christmas cards to make, and lots of cleaning to do, I don't know if I'll get to them this year. There are definitely not enough hours in the day, especially this time of the year.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to the Brevard Zoo

Happy Monday!

I can't believe how fast Thanksgiving flew by. Our friend, Dion, was here for a visit, and the five days he spent with us are a blur. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, the boys went to the beach on Friday (and the big boys went to a bar that evening), the five of us visited the zoo on Saturday, we watched the Apple Cup, and we ended his visit by dropping him off at the airport before some shopping at Ikea. I must say I am completely exhausted & my house is a mess, but it was a wonderful few days.

Our trip to the Brevard Zoo was definitely a highlight for me. I love our local zoo, so much so that I bought us a season pass in September. We were really lucky this visit because the giraffes were hungry and stationed along the giraffe feeding area, eating and socializing with everyone. They are absolutely beautiful animals and I could have watched them all day.

I have spent the last couple of hours going through the hundreds of photos we took (Mark was just as shutter happy as I was!), and I've posted some of my favorites.

The zoo had a face painting station set up, and Jack wanted to be a lion. Evan, of course, wanted nothing to do with having his face painted and hid behind Mark.

My first sun star. The composition isn't the best, but I am so pleased with myself that I was able to get a pretty good sun star. Terri gave me some great tips when she visited in August & I finally put them to use!


Evan has wanted to kayak along the "African River" for almost a year. He was old enough to go on Saturday, he was all smiles and wouldn't stop talking when it was all over. He loved kayaking and has already asked us when we are going to do it again.

Evan took this picture of Dion while we were watching the giraffes.

Giraffe! I actually squealed when we walked up the ramp to the giraffe observatory. They are so big and beautiful... and friendly!

Look at that tongue!

Stationed throughout the zoo are zoo employees and various snakes. This one was curled up into a knot and perfectly happy. Mark took this great picture.

My three little sea turtles.

Feeding the birds is always a hit, and this time Jack wanted to participate. He was a little unsure of the very friendly birds, but he was fine once Mark held his hand.

I love the face Jack is making! He was not happy while we were waiting for the boys to kayak under the bridge we were standing on.

Our brave kayakers finally arrived! Evan was waving like crazy & apparently yelling "There is Mommy! And Jack! Hi!!" while the guide was trying to point out different animals along the waterfront.

Dion was nice enough to take a photo of the four of us at the end of the day. We are not very good about getting family photos, but this one I love.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully I will be fully recovered by tomorrow... I have 4 appointments lined up this week, plus Mark's formal awards banquet on Saturday. The holiday season is upon us and I am not ready!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Baseball 2011

I know I was supposed to post photos of Evan's Thanksgiving play and feast, but I thought I would post a few baseball photos first. Evan's season came to an end on Saturday, and he loved every minute of it. He was enthusiastic, energetic, and so happy to be out on the field every Saturday. When his coach, Jackie, announced the his award at the banquet, Evan was given the Best First Baseman Award. He was thrilled to receive a huge trophy for his efforts. I will need to retake some photos of Evan with his trophy, however. The awards banquet was crowded and dim, and I didn't do a very good job of getting photos of him with his trophy.

His first hit of the game.

Running to first base after a hit.

Another hit, later in the game.

Between innings I ran onto the field to get this picture of Mark and Evan. Mark helps direct traffic during the game, and I am so proud of him for donating him time to Evan's team.

Lining up to give high fives after the game. Our little team played great, but they were very anxious start the awards banquet. Our coach brought cupcakes!

Evan really enjoyed his first baseball experience and he has already asked me to sign him up for another season. We are so proud of him!


Monday, November 21, 2011

"No Way!"

This is Jack's "No Way!" face. So glad I captured it with my camera. I hear it 1,000 times per day, but he is so darn cute when he says it that I have a hard time keeping a straight face. And those curls! I have trimmed his bangs three or four times, but I can't bring myself to cut off his cute little curls.

I'll be back tomorrow with a few photos from Evan's Thanksgiving play & feast. Ev was a Turkey, and his line was "Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!".

I wish my little ones could stay this small forever.

Monday, November 14, 2011

As Of Right Now | Digital Scrapbook Layout

(All supplies Karla Dudley Designs. Font: Georgia.)

I just love this photo. And the two people in it. I am so glad I had my camera out to capture this sweet moment between Jack and Mark.

Life is good. :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Right Now | Jack

Jack, these pictures capture you perfectly. Your spunky personality, big blue eyes, and wonderful sense of humor. Your curly blond hair and love of hats. And magnifying glasses (thanks Cindy!). Your curiosity, infectious laugh, and big heart.

Watching you grow from a tiny infant, to a baby, and now an adorable toddler is one of my greatest joys. I love you , son.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Evan decided a few weeks ago he wanted to be a robot, and I asked Mark to create an awesome robot costume for him. I would say Mark was successful. He received a ton of compliments & Evan loved it. The red LED lights were great, too!

Evan picked out the color for Mark to paint his robot:

How cute is that?!? We already had the silver basketball shorts & a gray t-shirt. Evan slipped the robot over his head and stuck his arms out the side. He was a bit of a hazard because he couldn't see where he was walking, but I helped guide him down the sidewalk.

My little monkey, Jack, thought Ev's costume was "very silly". Evan is sitting inside the robot... he could fit his whole body in there!

I love this picture b/c all that is visible of Evan is his left hand:

Before trick or treating around our neighborhood, we did a little trick or treating at Publix. I was expecting there to be a lot of kids, but we were the only ones.

The LED lights on Evan's costume were really bright at night. I still can't believe mark put this costume together... I am so proud of him! It looked awesome, and more than one parent said they would love to be able to create such an amazing costume.

I need to hide the candy before the kids find it in the morning... they both ate a ton of it tonight! Jack kept asking Daddy for "another treat?" and "another treat?". He is a big fan of Halloween!

Have a wonderful week!