Tuesday, December 27, 2011


It was so good. I thought Kevin was going to cry every time I turned around, he kept saying what a great day it was. I think it was a sort of coming of age for us as a family. Last year we didn't go home because we couldn't, but this year we could have gone but chose not to. I feel like we are kind of sinking into ourselves as a family, I mean in a good way. Instead of being an appendage to our extended family, we are becoming more and more that separate family unit everyone talks about. I feel ok about this, in ways that I didn't think I would. Maybe it has something to do with the kids, or maybe I'm finally maturing in this area. I suspect it's the former, though. Instead of making decisions the way that I am used to, based on how i feel or what I want, I find myself making them using this more complex equation that involves three other people. It's good. It's good for me. In the great and lengthy history of parenting this is common, I'm just catching up.

My birthday was a week before Christmas, it was a really nice thirty-third. I came downstairs that morning to "Birthday" by the Beatles (they say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too) playing on my new iPad! These are the only pictures I got, Sunday morning during our home fellowship. Evelyn made cupcakes and here is Jude surprised to find icing all over his hand after petting one.

This is a picture of that very brief time of all our lives when paper and ribbon are exceedingly more satisfying than what it contains.

I just love this little face.

When we decided to stay here for Christmas, Evelyn decided to come up and spend it with us. We were so excited and grateful that she would do this. It definitely took the edge off our lonely little Christmas. She spent lots of time holding Wren and watched the kids several times while Kevin and I went out, it was so great. She was here for two weeks and when I told Jude that she was leaving and that we were sad, he said, "we are sad, we will cry."

A lot of excitement about this nice bag Aunt Bek got for Jude and Wren.

I think Kevin got something he likes here.

Big boy watch.

I failed to get a great picture of the presents under the tree. This is the best I've got. Check out that sled! Too bad we haven't had snow to use it in yet. Here are the present highlights: Mimi and Papa gave Jude a cool sled and Wren some pretty clothes. Oma and Opa gave Jude perhaps his favorite Christmas toy, these cool cars called Automoblox that he can take apart and put back together. And they gave Wren this neat walker that converts into a riding toy and a shopping cart as she grows. Grandmom gave Jude and Wren some nice clothes and books. Kevin and I gave him a structure for his wooden train set, the sheds for the trains to "sleep" in.

Oh yeah, baby doll! So excited about baby dolls.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh, This and That

The weather was so great last week, we took some nice walks down by the lake. They are always happy to be outside. Oh man, what am I going to do with these kids this winter???

We did have one day of snow recently and then it went away. But not before this masterful wonder of wonders was built. With a corncob (omitted) pipe, and a button (carrot) nose, and two eyes made out of coal (rocks).

We did our Christmas decorating early, the week before Thanksgiving. Since we are staying here again this year I just felt like getting an early start.


Ok, that was a short jog.

This picture is over a month old, but it's a cute dress our friend, Glorianne, made for Wren. I get lots of compliments when she wears it.

Daddy Duck, Mommy Duck, Jude Duck, and Wren Duck. And also a 5th random duck. Please don't give Jude any more ducks, he has enough.

One of Jude's favorite activities is greeting Wren when she wakes up from naps by snuggling up in bed with her. But he has to have covers and he just can't fathom why she doesn't sleep with them.

Three in a chair.

Burlington has lots of parades. You would think that the day after Thanksgiving's parade, where Santa enthrones himself at the mall, would be a good one. 1 firetruck, 1 police car, 1 utility vehicle, 6 old men with tubas and french horns, and Santa on a poney = the world's lamest parade. Suckers...

This was fun, though. The pre-parade lineup had the kids swarming to see the firetruck.

We love going downtown in the evenings, there is usually some sort of spectacle. I really can't imagine what it must be like to do a handstand on top of 4 stacked chairs and a table. Over concrete.

Ok, here we are about to enter Ben & Jerry's.

Here he is after the first bite.

Big bite.

And here we are after consumption.

I don't have too many Halloween pictures, but here is one that I thought was funny. We went over to Jude's best buddy, Augustina's neighborhood to trick or treat. Don't my kids look really into this?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm Not Funny

Jude gets frustrated with us when we tell him he's funny. Or when we tell him he's cute. Or little. Or just about anything that doesn't begin with "big" and end with "boy." Somehow being funny and a big boy are mutually exclusive to him.

Kevin: "Jude, you are so funny!"
Jude: "Daddy, I'm not funny, I'm a big boy."

Wow, it's been tough the last few weeks with him. Jude is really testing us and trying to figure out how much power he actually has. Some days I really feel like I've reached the outer limit of my patience and grace towards him. He has even had a couple of royal tantrums--the kind that you don't think your precious little one will ever be capable of. I step back (mainly to avoid a heel to the teeth) and just watch him go and wonder where he learned to do that? Then I think about how it would feel to fall deadweight to the floor, thrashing against the Powers that try to thwart my plans (to make Pippin sniff my blanket), crush my deepest longings (to play with my trains until the wee hours of the morning), and impose their tyrannical will on me (to change my poopy diaper). Hmm... I'll let you know.

He is also full of surprises everyday. I just can't believe the things he says and where his mind goes. Nothing Freudian, and maybe not impressive to most people, but just that he is thinking of things that are beyond my suggestion. When we tuck him in at night we will ask him who he would like to pray for. I love hearing who is on his mind that day, it often surprises me. He is also playing make believe now, so fun to watch. Cue flying Thomas.

Here are a couple pictures of Wren. I realized that I have Jude pictures catalogued by month for the first year and a half of his life, like, "Jude 1 Month" and "Jude 13 Months". Wren's pictures so far are catalogued, as "Spring/Summer" and "Fall/Winter." Poor second child.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Summer in Photos, Part 2: Georgia!

We had the opportunity to go to Georgia for about 2 weeks this summer to see our families. The primary reason we went was to see Kevin's brothers, both of whom live in other countries, but were in the States. The stars aligned and all three of them converged on Marietta, Georgia at the same time!

Here is Jude playing with cousin Everett, it was fun to watch them cautiously playing together...

Standing at attention in front of the Cars movie, a first time viewing experience for Jude. He is still asking to watch the cars. They cracked me up standing like this for so long. They are wearing matching Big Brother shirts because Everett also just became a big brother!
At the Atlanta Zoo with Scott, Brooke and Grandmom
It was pretty HOT, poor baby...
Aunt Brooke braving the goats with Jude

Grandmom took him on the train! It doesn't look like it, but this was one of the highlights of his zoo experience!
Evelyn has a nice pool in her condo complex
Oh, the boys
We stayed at my mom's house and then drove to meet Evelyn each day. Scott and Brooke stayed there as well since Brian and Noelle and their 2 kids were at Evelyn's. One day Mr. Pounds came over to spend the day with the boys. They had fun playing in the yard.

They were so funny. They kind of "politely" fought over things.

"And I'm just so afraid that one day my belly is going to hang down here if I keep eating chips and salsa at the rate I've been going."

We had a nice time staying with Oma, she has lots of toys and there were always people in and out.

Wren: "Opa is so funny!" Opa: "Don't you dare spit up on me."

The piano, magical instrument.
Oma and Opa had a great pool on the deck. Jude and cousin Lyla loved it. Here you can see what will become a quarter hour of Jude drinking water out of this bowl.

Again with the piano
After a week with the Pounds' and Wolcotts', we headed over to the Conley's to visit with my Nanny who was in town from Texas. We took advantage of the event by hiring Christy Parry to take pictures! If you live in the Atlanta area, she is amazing, call her to take pictures of your family!

Here is my gorgeous Nanny, she loved holding Wren

Jude wasn't sure what he was supposed to do whenever the camera came his way

Bekah and Jared, awww!
Shannon and Lyla (miss you, Austin!)
And again, the piano