Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is about Jesus. After all, it is His birth and gift of Grace that we celebrate. As our family grows I look forward to establishing new traditions to celebrate this holiday. But for this year we just enjoyed getting to visit lots of family and eat lots of delicious food. Here are a few pictures from our celebrations:

Boomer saw me filling up his stocking, but I wouldn't let him have what was in it until the morning. So this is how he slept all night long:
(right next to his stocking!)

Nolan checking out the toys "Santa" brought:
(his facial expression is priceless)

Nolan playing with some new trucks:

Playing with some new blocks and legos:

Pops and Nolan opening some presents:

Opening presents at the farm:

Christmas cake:

Nolan climbing on his new slide: 

Nolan got a new stool for Christmas (because he likes climbing on things). For what seemed like hours, he climbed up on this stool and waited for us to cheer. Then he would climb back down and do it again. It was pretty cute:
(sorry the picture is sideways - I couldn't figure out how to switch it)

Sporting some new batman pajamas:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Template

What do you think of the new blog design? I decided I wanted something "wintry". This is my subtle attempt to sway Mother Nature into having lots of snow this year. We've already gotten some and it's not even Jan. yet so I have hope! Nolan has a nice new sled (and by "new" I mean I got it at a yard sale this summer for $0.25) to try out!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I know it has been a while since I've posted, but in my defense, the last month has been busy. The primary reason is that we are attempting to sell our house. We don't have any news to report on that yet - we've just been been fixing things up and trying to keep it clean (which is near impossible with a mobile 1 year old around). But I'm not here to talk about that. I'm here to talk about all the fun things that happen this time of year! Here are a few of the highlights:

1. Omi's birthday!

Omi turned 80 this year! What an accomplishment! And what a treasure she is to all of our lives! We got to celebrate with her in Charlottesville at the Omni hotel. We had a great lunch, got to see a gingerbread house display, and even got to meet Santa. Somehow I didn't come away with any pictures of the birthday girl, but here are a few I did get:

(family shot)

(Nolan kept trying to steal the fake Christmas presents that were under the tree in the lobby and open them. I guess he is starting to figure out what presents are all about!)

2. Christmas Parties!

We've gotten to go to several Christmas parties so far. Here are a few pics from Ms. Lisa's (Nolan's babysitter) party:

(Nolan with cousin Hunter - sporting some sweet reindeer antlers)

(Nolan with cousin Hannah Lovell)

(Nolan meeting Santa - he wasn't his biggest fan)

(Nolan and some of the kids singing Jingle Bells - Nolan didn't totally know what was going on but he was good at ringing the bells)

(Some of the kids singing Rudolph - Nolan is in front with the red shirt)

(Nolan showing his new toy to his friend Luke)

3. Food!

Nolan has discovered the wonderful world of SWEETS. You can attribute a large part of that to his Pops. The two of them can go through a bag of mini-marshmallows in no time. Whenever we visit Jack at work, Nolan finds his way to Dad's office and to the bag of marshmallows. As a result, this is what happened when I bought a bag of marshmallows to use in a recipe:

(Nolan climbed on the kitchen chair and helped himself... by the handful. That'll teach me to leave food within his grasp)

Recently I bought several bags of holiday chocolates to give as a part of a present. As I was wrapping the present, Nolan started helping himself to the Reese's peanut butter cups... again by the handful (Grandmommie would be proud! :). Unfortunately for him they weren't unwrapped. But he didn't care. He stuffed them in his mouth wrappers and all!

(Eventually I was able to pry all of the wrappers from his mouth. But now that he knows what tasty treasures are hidden in those wrappers he uses his stool or chairs to try to reach the bowl of them on the counter!)

4. Snow!

We got our first snowfall of the season (and hopefully not last)! We only got a few inches but it was good enough for a couple of days off of school. It couldn't have come at a better time! Those extra days gave me more time to work on Christmas presents (lots of homemade gifts this year) and more time to play with Nolan! He wasn't really sure what to do with the snow. Last year he always fell asleep when we took him out. So far this year he just seems confused about why it's so cold!

(Nolan with his friend Jackson - 7 months)

Sunday, November 28, 2010


As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the things Jack and I got to do on our trip to Mexico was swimming with the dolphins. It was awesome! We decided that the dolphins were basically like water dogs. They were really friendly and very well trained. Here are some pictures from our adventures with them!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No Fear

Nolan has no fear. He is CONSTANTLY climbing on things. And when he's not climbing on things, he's exploring things (which is really just a nice way of saying MAKING A MESS).

For example, this morning I turned around for a brief moment to put some dishes away. By the time I turned back around (which was literally a second), this is what I saw:

This child literally has no fear. He didn't seem concerned at all that he was an inch away from crashing to the floor. You have to keep your eye on him every second now! He's really good at pushing the kitchen chair around, and then climbing on it so he can reach things that are higher up. Nothing is safe anymore!

This is the other thing Nolan spent a lot of time doing this weekend:

 He figured out how to open up the pantry and had a ball playing inside. I like to think he made himself a little fort. He even figured out how to close the door to keep the riff raff out.

While it was annoying to have to constantly pick up canned food items off the floor, I was impressed with Nolan for two reasons:

1. What a brilliant place to build a fort. You'd never go hungry! When I was a kid we use to make a fort using the pull-out sofa. But we had to get snacks out of the kitchen to bring in there. Nolan was smart enough to eliminate that step altogether.

2. You can't tell it from the pictures, but Nolan had a book light in there as well. I don't know if he did this on purpose or if it was purely a coincidence, but when he closed the door he still had light!

What a smart 1 year old we have! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Viva La Mexico!*

*I have no idea what "Viva La Mexico" means, but it just sounded like something that would be an appropriate title...

Anyway, Jack and I were blessed to get to go to Mexico for 5 days this past week. Needless to say it was an awesome trip! This picture is the view from our balcony. It was one of the only pictures I took before my camera battery died :(

Here are some highlights of our trip:

- The resort we stayed at was all inclusive. That is awesome for obvious reasons - all you can eat and drink... :) But the really nice thing about this was that it gave us a break from financial stress. For 5 whole days we didn't have to worry about whether or not we could afford to eat at a certain place, or afford a snack, or a drink, or should we splurge on mini-golf (yes, that would be considered splurging to us, because we are cheap) etc. We didn't have to worry about money at all, because it was all included. It was awesome. And just the thing we needed.

- Apparently mid-November is not a busy time to be in Cancun. I don't know why though - the weather was awesome - sunny and highs in the mid 80s. The resort was only about 30% full so it wasn't crowded at all and that's always nice. I had my pick of beach chairs to choose from :) FYI the busy season for Cancun is not summer time like most touristy places in the USA - it's Thanksgiving through Christmas-ish. I guess everyone likes to get away for the holidays and warm up in the sunny Mexican air.

- We didn't do many exciting things while we were there - but that was just was I was hoping for. I spent a lot of time sitting on the beach/by the pool reading (I almost finished the whole Hunger Games series - It's so good)! Jack got to play golf, I got a massage and pedicure, and we both got to go to a water park and swim with dolphins. That was awesome - I'll post more about this (with pictures) later.

While Jack and I were off living it up in Cancun, Nolan was home with Meemaw and Pops. I will be owing them for all of eternity for babysitting. As it turns out Nolan decided that while his parents were out of the country would be a good time to go and get pneumonia. Luckily he was in good hands - went to the doctor, got some good meds, and some much needed rest. Since we've been back he's taken extra long naps and has gone to bed around 6:30 each night. Oh what I wouldn't do to have that schedule some days!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bath Buddies

This is generally what bath time looks like with Nolan:

Boomer doesn't let him out of his sight - even for bath time! One time Boomer even tried to get IN the bath tub WITH Nolan. This was particularly odd considering Boomer HATES baths. I guess he takes his role of GUARD dog very seriously!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Costume Pics

This year Nolan was a dinosaur for Halloween. I thought he was quite adorable - but then again he could dress up like a trash can and I would think he was adorable. Jack would probably rather I not pick out an "adorable" costume - but I still maintain that at his age it's perfectly acceptable to be adorable :)

So... here are some more pictures of my adorable (and yet tough and manly) little dinosaur...

("uh oh Nolan, someone's stealing your car!")

("No Silly, it's just me!")

And off we go...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

There are a lot of things I love about Autumn - the leaves change, Hokie football, apple cider, the weather gets cooler - just to name a few. But perhaps one of the best things about fall, or at least the best traditions, is going to the pumpkin patch! This past weekend we took our annual trip to Westermoreland Berry Farm with some friends. Nolan seemed to enjoy it more this year than he did last year. Here are a few pictures of our trip!

This is us last year (2009):

Same spot in 2010 (look how much he's grown!

Family pic:

Cutest little pig face ever:

Riding on the wagon to get to the pumpkin patch (Nolan loved this, but he gets to do stuff like this all the time when he visits Meemaw and Pops at the farm!):

"I found one Mom!"

LOVE these boys :)

Exploring the pumpkin patch:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jean Jumper

Earlier this week Nolan was wearing a pair of overalls, but the snaps on the bottom wouldn't stay snapped. By the time I picked him up from the babysitter she had given up on keeping them closed, so he was essentially wearing a jean jumper. I thought it was pretty funny, so I took a picture... I told him he looked like an elementary school teacher. He didn't seem to mind :)

Side note: notice he is still fascinated with playing with the mop (and his shadow)!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Future Pole Vaulter?

I'm not sure if this is normal for little boys or not, but Nolan REALLY likes carrying around things that are pole-like (recall the post from a few months ago about him carrying around the table leg?). I can't really figure out why he likes these things - He doesn't really do much with them other than wave them around in the air and accidentally smack Boomer in the head with them (it wouldn't surprise me if Boomer ended up with a concussion because of that boy). It's kind of funny when he tries to bring these pole-like objects into another room and can't figure out how why they won't fit horizontally through a door. He gets so frustrated! But anyway, here are just a few of the pole-like things he's found to carry around this past week:

(a long handle that attaches to paint rollers or shop brooms)

(a water wand for the garden - in case you are wondering, this does not normally stay in our laundry room. Nolan found it outside and brought it in a while back so it has just been living in there for now)

(a mop and a broom from the garage)

(another broom from the garage)

(a mop from the bathroom and a golf club)

This is only a glimpse of the things Nolan has gotten ahold of. I can't even count how many times I have seen him appear in a room with the broom in his hand. Tonight he even tried bringing the broom in the bath tub with him. We try to baby proof our house. We really do! The toilet plunger now stays on top of the dresser in our bedroom because it's the only place high enough that Nolan couldn't reach it or climb on something to get to it. Is it normal for children to enjoy these things this much? If only I could get him to use them properly. Then we'd be in business!