Friday, November 28, 2014

Reflecting On The Year After

Thanksgiving brings on many mixed emotions for our family.
On the one hand, it is one of our favorite holidays; a time for us to spend with family and enjoy delicious food.
On the other hand, we are reminded where we were a year ago.
The whole month I've felt the date looming over me, painfully reminding me of how much we lost. All of a sudden it was hard to shake the thoughts of that keepsake, that heirloom, and that special thing that seemed so important before.
While some less than pleasant memories were trudged up, reflecting has been good for me. When I'd start thinking about all that we lost, I'd remind myself of all that we've gained. It's been a back and forth of feelings and emotions as I battle to fight the negativity that seems to accompany this particular anniversary.
In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful this year for how far we have come. We are moving along on the house, we are growing and maturing, and we are still a family. We have each other, and we have everyone that has been there for us through this whole process. Thanks to you all.
On another note, we did enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving holiday at my Uncle Frank and Aunt Jacque's house. It was their first Thanksgiving since they moved here, and we were glad to be with them. It was a day filled with work and relaxation. Some helped clean the yard up, some helped with food and kids, some did both.
Sabrina looking as cute as ever.
Pops playing with the grandkids.
Ryder being his feisty self.
Nick cleaning leaves off the roof.
My aunt did an awesome job cooking the turkey and dressing. Here Dad is carving the turkey while still enjoying his hard earned beer.
Play time after a full meal. Pinwheels are the best!
Practice, practice!
As always, the kids are growing with beauty unlike anything else.
Sabrina tromping in her yellow boots.
Tandem trike riding.
Sabrina started using a fork and spoon. She's very good at it, shocking her daddy and me.
Today I was drawn back to our place. The kids and I had so much fun playing down by the pond.
We "fished," went looking for waterfalls, and caught a frog! Quite an exciting hour for us.
Here's a little sneak peek of our house. There's going to be a lot happening in the weeks to come...
See you soon.
*All posts related to our house building journey have now been moved to the category labeled "Back To Home." So if you'd like to take a look at our progress, you can see it all there!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Batt & Foam: An Insulating Story

We've sealed the deal.
Foam on the outside walls, batt on the inside walls.
As you can see, we have some sheetrock already waiting to be put up. We're hoping to get that going pretty soon. It probably will be after Thanksgiving though.
It looks like our house is shrouded in whipped cream. It's slightly appetizing until you smell it. Believe me, this stuff bears no resemblance to whipped cream except in its appearance.
It's neat because it gives you a better feeling of what the house is going to be like; most of the inside walls are closed off. Plus, of course, the sound is deadened making it less empty hole-like.
In order for the guys to deliver the sheetrock, Nick built this little deck off the back door. We were really needing a decent entrance to the house anyway.
So things are moving along, it's just at a much slower rate than we'd like.
On another note, our family has been chugging along just fine.
Our kids were dressed so cute for church, I just had to share.
Pajama ride-on car races.
Eating beautyberries while taking a walk on our land. Looking forward to more moments like these.
With Thanksgiving coming up, there's a lot of reflection and gratitude being felt in our home. We will enjoy this holiday and hope everyone else does too.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Along The Gulf Shores of Alabama

As I said in my last post, we've been a little busy lately. We spent almost two weeks on a trip with families for the Feast of Tabernacles. The destination this year: Orange Beach, Alabama. We ended up staying in Gulf Shores, but the cities are right next to each other so I imagine the beaches are similar. It felt like a quick trip, probably the fastest Feast we've had in a long time. We stayed with my whole family again, and it was nice to see everyone and get to know my niece and nephew that are still so little.
To start off our trip, we decided to stop in and visit some family in Mississippi. We stopped at a random body of water in Louisiana to eat lunch the first day, and it was quite remote. Interesting in many ways.
Cleco parking area. Nice digs, huh?
The kids liked getting a chance to get out of the car and walk around.
When we arrived at "Uncle" Trevor's house, the kids found this awesome little sand pile and had a ball. We all enjoyed our visit and it was nice to take it easy on our trip.
After a slightly convoluted rest of the trip, we finally were able to get into our beach house and settle in. It was so cool to see everyone, and the anticipation of the week was high.
The beaches are beautiful. Ryder couldn't wait to jump right in.
All the kids get along really well, but Xander and Ryder really hit it off this trip. They were always together, two peas in a pod.
Our house had an amazing backyard filled with wonderfully fun stuff! The heated pool was the biggest hit with everyone. It even had a shallow area for the kiddos.
They also had a hammock area, which the boys decided made the best swings.
We (as in our little family) didn't do a whole lot this trip, but one thing we did was go to the zoo. As always the kids had fun and like feeding and watching the animals.
The boys checking out the alligator.
We rented one of the zoo's wagons to haul all our stuff, but the kids ended up trying to dogpile on it!
The zoo had a mini carousel. They really had more fun than it looks.
As I said, we didn't do a whole lot to speak of. We mostly spent time with everyone, hung out in the pool, and ate a lot of food. We took some fun pictures on the beach one night.
Cold water!
Nick got up early one morning to take some gorgeous sunrise pictures.
It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, especially for the kids, but we had a good time and look forward to the next time we all can see each other.
We headed out and made it home all in one day. Unfortunately, Ryder was sick all the way home.
We stopped at a gorgeous park for lunch. It was so beautiful, we didn't want to leave.
Taking a walk.
Walking around outside of Taco Bell. Gotta get those wiggles out.
We had a good trip, but we miss everyone. Looking forward to our next adventure!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Holy Cake And Diapers Batman...It's A Baby Shower!

Wow it's been a while. Sorry that this post is a little late in coming, but things have been busy. I will be posting more on what we've been up to later but first I wanted to post about a special and fun party My mom did earlier in September.
This baby shower was for a friend expecting her first little boy! We are so happy for her and were thrilled to get the chance to throw her this super hero party!
City scape backdrop and food table.
The light shining up on the curtain had such a cool effect, especially in person.
Closer look at the table design.
Batman fruit platter.

Kryptonite and Wonder Woman's lassos.
Catwoman's claws (aka Bugles).
Hero and Villain cupcakes and Marvel emblem cake pops.
Salted Chocolate Cupcakes.
Vanilla cupcakes.
Yummy cake pops!
Hero masks (aka pretzels).
Thor's hammers (aka cocktail sausages) and cheese.
Captain America fruit platter.

Drink table.
Gift Table.
The baby's name started with and "A" so Mom made him his own emblem.
General feel of the room.
The sign in table doubled as a photo booth.
It was enjoyed by everyone at the party.
Especially me.
One of the activities we had at the party was to write messages on diapers for the couple to see as they changed the baby's diaper. Mom and I had a little too much fun with this!
Once again Mom outdid herself. She got many compliments and job offers at the party. For now she just loves doing this for fun for people. Can't wait to see what she come up with next!