Monday, December 12, 2011


We're trying to enjoy the quiet calm of having a newborn as much as possible and being able to do it during the Advent season is just perfect. Last week we ended up being a little too busy and it took a toll on us so we're reminded to slow down again this week, although we have quite a few Christmas parties and pagents to attend.
We're slowly preparing the house for Christmas. We got our tree from a fundraiser by the Youth at church, its from a NC farm and smells just amazing! We decorated the tree last Sunday. The kids were a huge help this year and even though the decorations may not be spaced perfectly, it's done, and no ornaments were broken this year! Yay!
Yesterday while A and J had a date at the Nutcracker, H and I made Snowflakes to decorate the front door and then we made our first batch of Christmas cookies. They are now mostly gone though so we'll be baking more goodies this week. A picked a coconut macaroon recipe from our Christmas cookie book and I'm wanting to do peppermint bark again this year. Little M is best at hanging out in the sling and taking it all in or napping. And she has a whole lot of helpers to keep her entertained!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

She is here

Little Miss /M/ is here. We're soaking her in.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We've entered a period of waiting. Waiting on baby girl to decide when she's ready to enter the world. Everything is in wait-and-see mode. RSVPing for events means we say "maybe", J has to begin every work commitment with "if the baby's not here yet", and the "when's that baby coming?" comments have begun.

We can't wait to meet you little one but we know you'll come on your own schedule. It'd be nice if your schedule was more of the "on time" kind than your brother and sister, but we'll try to be patient.
Ella kitty thinks you're pretty cozy just as you are.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Halloween '11

Here are the highlights of Halloween this year. (A) stayed home sick after our busy weekend in Sewanee so she looks a bit "off" in some of these. They each did their own pumpkins this year and we think they turned out great! Then they got dressed and waited not too patiently for it to get dark enough to go. This was the first year I didn't go trick-or-treating with them, but I was happy to veg on the couch and answer the door to hand out candy in my very pregnant state. The kids got a big haul and that was even with coming home before finishing all the streets. The witch and bat were wiped out from our big weekend, and after checking out (and tasting) some of their goods, they were off to bed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"home" coming

Going back to Sewanee truly felt like a homecoming. It was wonderful to be welcomed by so many friends and so great to see people from our 3 years there. I didn't realize how busy we'd be trying to catch up with everyone and trying to get the kids to be able to see all their buddies. We hit the leaves at peak time as well so we were able to be there during one of the most beautiful times. We actually got a true dose of Sewanee weather with warm temps changing to fog then rain and then cold, all in one day. I was so glad we brought the kids too, they were SO excited and nostalgic about everything. We drove by our old house and the pond and all our favorite spots and they made sure to point it all out. As we were driving around, *A* informed us that she was "so happy, she was crying". Sweet girl.
When we walked up the hill to the seminary they exclaimed "I remember this hill!" (and this tree, and this blade of grass!) Not really, but it was too cute to see them remembering all the places including the sledding hill outside the seminary that I wouldn't have thought would have had such an impact on their memory.
We enjoyed the lectures and dinner/dance too but really the best part was being with friends and being able to be on vacation in Sewanee. YSR!

Driving to the Cross

We couldn't pass up Abbo's Alley!

They miss hiking and just had to bring their backpacks along!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Almost Time

It's almost baby time around here. I've been pretty "nest-y" lately, insisting J get the stuff down from the attic, washing what few baby things we have, etc. It's not all done and we may still have a few weeks yet but I'm anxious to get it all situated. We just found out the church is having a joint shower for me and the other new priest's wife (who is due 3 weeks after I am), so we went and registered some things we don't have anymore. I was amazed at how many new products there are out there since we last did this baby thing almost 5 years ago. We are experienced enough to know most of the new things aren't necessary, but some of them are pretty cool.

We registered the kids for a Sibling Tour of the hospital a few weeks ago and it was better than we expected! They got to bring a favorite stuffed animal or baby and practice diapering and they were able to tour the rooms and see what to expect. I knew A would be into it, but I was surprised at how into it H was, he listened to every word the nurse said and was eager to answer her questions.
So sweet!
They both got big brother and big sister hats to wear when the time comes to visit their new sister in the hospital.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ren Fest

A few weekends ago we went to the Renaissance Festival in a town just north of Charlotte. We'd been to the one in Atlanta pre-kids and it was fun, but this one is pretty amazing! It's located on old farm land, open for 2 months, and the buildings are permanent structures including 7 stages, counter service food places, medieval rides/games, and more retail shops than you can imagine. There were actually so many things to see and do that we didn't get to see everything we wanted in one day.
(H) was over the moon with the jousting, pirates, and various places to buy swords (he of course had to add a wooden one to his collection). A loved the ladies in fancy dresses, places to get your hair elaborately (and expensively) braided, and this great fairy named Twig who played a double penny whistle thing and gave glass trinkets to her "favorites". She chose a tiny bottle of fairy dust on a necklace as her souvenir.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Last weekend we went to the mountains and went apple picking. This is the first time we've been to a pick-your-own apple orchard and it was such fun!

The kids were able to run with abandon and play among the trees and we could taste as we went along if we found an unusual variety. Some of us thought it would be a good time to practice our juggling too!

It was quite cool that day and we were happy to visit the bakery on site for some warm apple cider and a new-to-us delicacy, apple cider donuts!

Oh my gosh, so good! Apparently something about replacing the milk in the donut recipe with cider makes it extra tasty and a bit more crunchy than regular donuts. I'm anxious to try to make them at home now.

After our snack, we went on a horse-drawn hay ride. All the other hay rides we've been on have been pulled by a tractor and watching the driver manipulate the horses was pretty amazing. They liked to run up the hills (to get them over with I'm guessing), so we really had to hold on at these parts!

It was a pretty perfect way to spend a Saturday in October!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Animal Blessing

Here are a few pictures from the Blessing of the Animals on Saturday. It was a beautiful morning and the animals were so fun to watch! Most of them behaved well, a few barked through the service. There was only 1 cat and we brought the only hamsters, but there was a guinea pig. No scratches or injuries and we received tags with the church's info saying "I've been blessed". Oh and there were treats for the animals and people afterwards, this church thinks of everything!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I'm in full Fall anticipation mode. I keep checking the weather looking to see just when it will be officially cool. This weekend seems to be the time, highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s, perfect weather in my opinion. I think we're going to head to the mountains this weekend for some apple picking. There are a few good places between here and Asheville, and only about an hour away. We may just pick-up a pumpkin while we're there too since this weekend will be October too, my favorite month! The kids are seeing Halloween stuff everywhere and wanting to get our Fall decorations out. Of course they haven't narrowed down their costume choices yet, that's always an issue. So far *A* wants to be a witch or a girl pirate and (H) wanted to be a pirate forever but now he's saying a ninja (which is totally out of nowhere). I'm totally obsessed with Wicked still so I want to be Elphie but with my extra-large belly that may not work, I may need to re-create my pumpkin belly shirt.

Also this weekend is the blessing of the animals at church. *A* wants to bring her hamsters but then she decided not to because she had it in her mind that there was water involved. I think she thinks they're going to get baptized because she was all worried they would drown. I assured her that they would be safe and so now I'm just wondering how we're going to get 2 dogs, 1 cat and 2 hamsters (plus 2 kids and 1 mommy) to the church all in one piece. I think ^J^ is the main priest in charge that day too and he requested there be a first aid kit available. Yikes! Maybe we can have a private blessing at home for our animals who may not do so well in the public setting. That's one benefit of having a priest for a daddy right? Let's just hope he returns home with all his fingers and relatively few scratches.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ah Rain!

It's been raining on and off for 3 days now and I just love it. Today has been the biggest rain causing a "mini-flood" as (H) pointed out in our backyard, and causing me to want to do nothing but bake and drink tea. So I'm planning to make Pioneer Woman's Oatmeal Cookies today, I've been craving oatmeal cookies for a while now and we were out of butter, but now I'm all set to have a morning to myself baking and catching up on blogs.
It's been a while sorry. It seems with the kids back in school, I'm limited on my alone morning time and I've not been able to blog because I'm trying to get chores, errands, etc. in before pick-up time. They are both loving their schools which makes me so happy. It's kind of a weird schedule *A* goes at 7:45, (H) at 9:15. Then (H) is done at 1 and *A* at 2:45, so we have some weird breaks in our day that end up being not really much time to do anything significant. We're still surviving on one car but the only way this is working is because we live to close to *A*'s school and we can walk to drop her off and/or pick her up. It's not really been difficult to coordinate when ^J^ needs to car for hospital visits or what-not, and if I need to run errands, I usually just drop him and (H) at church and then we can swap at pick-up time of we need to. We did have to rent a car this past weekend, it ended up being super-cheap so that's a new option if we get stuck. ^J^ wants a vespa which would be helpful somedays, unless it was raining, or cold, or he has to go on the highway. I think he likes the idea of driving a vespa around town in his clericals, and he of course wants a black one with a white stripe so it will match him.

Anyway, last weekend ^J^ had church obligations all weekend and it would have been hard for him to try and find rides, and the kids and I needed to drive to Atlanta so I could have a girl's night and the kids could attend our niece's birthday party. So renting a car was a great option and the kids were super-excited about "our new car", if only for 3 days! For months now, some of my Sewanee friends and I have had a trip to Atlanta planned to see Wicked and spend the night and just hang out. It was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. I under-estimated how much I needed that time with old friends. People who know me, and I know them. We all talked about how natural it felt to be together again, just like no time had passed at all. It was great. I was able to be a sort-of tour guide in my old stomping grounds and picked some Atlanta landmark restaurants for us (Mary Macs, The (original) Flying Biscuit, and of course, The Varsity) which they all loved. Wicked was amazing, I'm now obsessed with the music and listen to it on grooveshark daily. I can't wait to take the kids when they're a bit older. When we listen to the music, they both want to know what's going on in the story and how it's related to the Wizard of Oz, I don't want to give away too much because I really want them to see it when they're old enough to get all the connections. Ah, so good. If you haven't seen it, go.

Ok, I'm off to clean the kitchen so I can mess it up again with some cookie-baking. Then maybe some knitting while I catch up on shows from this week, have I told you how much I love having a dvr? Happy rainy, lazy day!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


You hear that? It's silence. That hasn't been heard in this house for sometime. Both kids are now in school, (H) is still only half-day in Transitional Kindergarten at Josh's church's preschool, but it's 4 hours of me-time that I will certainly take. So far I've gotten a whole lotta nothin' done but I'm ok with that. I've been remembering what it's like to have some time alone. I joined a women's bible study at church so that was most of yesterday morning, and today I'm being all domestic by catching up on laundry, baking chocolate-chip banana bread and putting dinner in the crock-pot. Fall is in the air and it makes me quite happy. I've never been this pregnant in the summer before, and the heat has taken it's toll. It's so nice to be able to not be sweating all day long anymore. I'm just hoping it will last and this isn't just a tease. Don't we deserve an early Fall after that hot summer?! I think so!
Speaking of summer, I have some pictures to share of one of our last days of summer. It was hot and I wasn't willing to go to the Y pool this day, so we broke out the sprinkler. I've been playing with my camera more and trying to shoot on manual, so here are some that actually turned out. I'm still not sure what I'm doing but it's becoming easier the more I play. I would love to take a class to learn all this and one day be able to take pictures like her and her. So inspiring!
Watch out!

Working hard together

Love her!

Gracie observing from a safe distance

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


It's almost time for school to start back and we're so ready. A starts in 2 short days and H won't start until after Labor Day, but it's A who needs it, and I need it for her. She just gets in this unhappy space of needing structure and rules that I don't seem to provide enough of (or don't provide them in the right way), and as much as I would love to homeschool her, I just don't think she would do well. She is such an extrovert and thrives when others are around. She loves being among people, and as hesitant as I was last year about sending her to traditional school, she's at the age and mindset where she gets off on all those rules that make me cringe. She wants to please and seems to follow school rules better than the constant pushing we get at home. Hopefully this year will be just as successful and I'm hoping those rules will rub off on our home rules that seem so unimportant when we're smooshed together 24/7 in the summer. I am concerned for her to go to a bigger school with (five 1st grade classrooms!), but I really think she'll be great. She has been missing having friends since the move, and I think she'll quickly find a few buddies and at least she'll have an outlet for her social needs.
H on the other hand is a mini-me and his transition to school may come with a little more resistance. I'm glad to have a few weeks with only him home, we'll have fun and he actually enjoys mommy being his teacher so we're going to do a bit of homeschooling and see how it goes while we're waiting for preschool (transitional kindergarten) to start back. I'm not entirely convinced he needs to go to school, I really do think I could homeschool him, but with the baby coming in November, it'll be a good thing. I've heard great things about his teachers and he'll be at the church with J so it's a good place for him to start post-move.
Anyway, we're off to meet A's teacher tonight and then enjoy one more day of sleeping in and watching tv during the week.
P.S. I have lots of wonderful pictures to share but a slow computer that won't upload them so I'm hoping I'll have more time to work with them later this week.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Post-Michigan Post

We're home from Michigan, it was super-fun but super-hot. No cool breezes, no need for those sweatshirts I packed, and no A/C. The first night was miserable, after a big thunderstorm, it finally cooled off enough to go to sleep, around 2am. The next day, the fridge broke and the landlord brought over a new fridge and A/C unit for the window upstairs so that helped a bit. Basically to beat the heat, we went to the water.
Thank goodness for the water, it was WONDERFUL and we spent so much time there trying to cool off that we're quite tan now. We had a blast and didn't do much outside of stay in the little village we rent in and go swimming. We typically go sightseeing or touring around, but this year it was fun to just stay put; get donuts (almost) every morning, iphone_pic
visit the marina, go to the street party, and be with family. We missed Daddy a lot though and we were happy to get home and see him.
The street party was hot and there weren't any of the cool crafty booths there but it was fun. We hoola-hooped, each in our own way, iphone_pic
and ate and played, but then we *had* to go take a dip in the lake. Ahhh, so refreshing! H didn't even bother changing into his bathing suit.
Swimming at 9pm has it benefits, besides cooling off before bed, you get to stay and take pictures of the sunset, I took way too many, but here are a few.
It was a great trip and we can't wait to go back with Daddy next year! I have more photos to share that I'll put in another post but now I'm off to make pesto since our basil went crazy while I was gone. Mmmmm, pesto!