Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

Once again, I didn't manage to get Christmas cards sent off BEFORE Christmas. Seriously, how do people do that? With all of the other exciting things happening around that time, sending out cards is usually one of the last things on my mind. So, in case you're interested, here's what you WOULD have gotten for our Christmas Letter:

In case you were wondering what’s new with the Donohoe’s:

Age: 4

This Year I: practiced learning all my letters and sounds, learned to ride a bike without training wheels  (sort of), and learned to swim all by myself.

My Favorite Things Are: Pretending to fight bad guys with my friends, playing baseball, and any/all cartoons.                               
Favorite Memory of 2013: Moving to the farm and helping Meemaw and Pops with the chores. (Katie’s parents have a farm – We moved in with them while we wait for our house to be built)

In 2014 I am Most Looking Forward To: starting Kindergarten in the Fall!

Age: 2

This Year I: starting potty training, learned my colors and how to count.

My Favorite Things Are: singing, playing outside and playing with my dolly’s – especially Baby Hope.

Favorite Memory of 2013: being the flower girl at Uncle Mike and Aunt Meagan’s wedding.

In 2014 I am Most Looking Forward To: getting a little brother or sister! (Baby Donohoe #3 is due in early July!)

Age: younger than Jack

This Year I: survived another year of teaching math and SOL’s, tried some new recipes, read some good books, and enjoyed keeping up with 2 busy kids!

Favorite Memory: the surprise trip that Jack planned for us to Abingdon, VA. We stayed at the Martha Washington Inn, watched a show at the historic Barter Theater, and biked down the VA Creeper Trail – in the snow! Jack even called my principal and arranged my sub plans for me. It was a much needed break from the normal routine.

In 2014 I am Most Looking Forward To: having baby #3! And our new house being built. They have started on the foundation and some plumbing work. It should be move-in ready sometime in the spring. I think I am most excited about the closet space and being able to get everything out of storage!

Age: Old enough

This Year I: Spent countless hours dealing with County officials and arranging for building permits, soil tests, etc. for our new house. I am still working at Morton’s and enjoy the challenges that business and working in sales bring on a daily basis.

Favorite Memory of 2013: Taking lots of day trips with the kids – we went to the zoo, Busch Gardens, played at the lake, and more. I also really enjoyed seeing my little brother get married!

In 2014 I am Most Looking Forward To: our new home and having a yard to take care of. (And baby #3 of course!)

Boomer (our black lab)
Age: 6

This Year I: Slept a lot, got in trouble for getting on the couch all the time, rode on the gator around the farm, and learned not to chase cows because they are much bigger than me.

Favorite Memory of 2013: moving to the farm and getting a new friend, Belle (one of my parent’s dogs). I love it there! I am glad I will never have to live in “town” again!

In 2014 I am Most Looking Forward To: finding new mischief to get into!

Christmas Time

While I haven't been feeling the greatest the last few weeks (more to come on that later), I have been trying to do some fun holiday things to get in the spirit. This year the kids are 2 and 4 - ages that allow them to actually get excited about doing Christmas-y things and enjoy them. Here are a few things we've tackled so far:

Cutting Down the Christmas Tree:
(Nolan and Abby did the picking, Mom did the sawing - she is truly a woman of many talents)

Making a Ginger Bread House:

The kids had a really good time with this one. Of course, Abby didn't really understand why you weren't suppose to eat the candy, and Nolan couldn't comprehend the fact that the house didn't have to look EXACTLY like the one on the box (yes, I used a kit from a box. Don't hate.) "Mom, the gum drops are suppose to go THERE." Anyway, once I got Abby to stop eating everything and Nolan got in the creative spirit we all had a great time. Too bad our finished product lasted less than 24 hours because I'm an idiot and left it within reaching distance of a certain dog who shall remain nameless.

Annual Christmas Parade:

I haven't been to the local Christmas parade since High School - when we would march in the marching band. I was hesitant to go this year because it was freezing cold and Jack was working, so I knew it would mean me tackling the crowds by myself. But, we went. And I'm glad we did! Everyone had a good time. The kids especially enjoyed all the candy they handed out. Nolan like all the "army" people and the fire trucks, and Abby like the dogs and "princesses" (pageant winners).

Breakfast with Santa:

Each year my school puts on a "breakfast with Santa" and craft fair. I've been to the craft fair before, but have never taken the kids to the breakfast. This year we went and had a great time! Nolan walked right up to Santa without hesitating. Abby was still terrified of him. She did stand at a distance and wave - but that's about as friendly as she was willing to get with ol' Santa Clause. After we visited with Santa we had a lovely pancake breakfast and then walked around the craft fair. The kids went home with balloon animals - which only lasted about an hour, but were a big hit!

Ms. Lisa's Annual Christmas Party:


(Another pic with Santa - Abby still wasn't thrilled - but not crying at least!)

(Ms. Lisa with all of her "kids")

Ms. Lisa is our amazing babysitter. I think I've talked about her on here before - about how grateful we are for her. She has really touched a lot of lives throughout her years of doing child care. My kids have learned so much being with her. Each year she has a Christmas party for all of her "kids" - past and present. It's always a big hit. The kids have a blast visiting with their friends and opening presents. This year Santa even made an appearance!

That's all for now. I started this post several weeks ago and got busy with life so never published it. But here it is - just a little too late. Even though it is almost January, there will likely be some more posts about Christmas in the days to come!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Farm Life

After a year in "town", we made the move back to the farm this summer. We weren't excited about having to pack everything up and transition to a different place for the 3rd year in a row, but it was definitely the right thing to do. While I never imagined myself living with my parents again at this age, we all couldn't be happier. The kids are especially having a great time. The have adjusted well and are enjoying every aspect of being on the farm. Here are some of the things the like to do for fun:

Every morning (except on school days), Abby gets up and helps Memaw and Pops with the chores - feeding the horses and checking for new baby calves are some of her favorites. Here is a picture of her "helping" Pops carry some buckets of feed:

Nolan and Abby both LOVE to play outside (and I would so much rather this than inside, where there is too much temptation to turn on the t.v.) They both like helping with the chores, but other interests include: Playing in the hay in the barn, climbing on things (on tractors, in trees, etc), and playing in water (ANY water). 

As soon as Abby wakes up, she is ready to go outside...
(Sometimes she doesn't even take time to get dressed or put on real shoes)

Another benefit of being on the farm...

I'm excited for our house to be built in a few months. But I'm even more excited that we will be just across the road. The kids will have many years of fun adventures to come!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Abby!

It hit me out of the blue... we were leaving our babysitter's one day this week, and I was behind Nolan and Abby as they walked side by side up the hill to the car. And I stopped - literally stopped - and thought to myself "how did they get SO grown up!? Where did my baby Abby go!?" It's true - she is not a baby anymore!

This past Monday, August 26, we celebrated Abby's 2nd birthday!** We had a great time celebrating with family and friends. Abby loved blowing out the candles and eating ice cream cake! Nolan was more excited about opening the presents than she was, but she loved to see what was inside. She is a spoiled girl for sure!

Now that Abby is officially 2, here is a recap of her past year:
Favorite thing to do: play outside and/or whatever Nolan is doing
Favorite Movie/Show: n/a - she really could care less about t.v. - which I guess is a good thing! Although, she does have a favorite t.v. character, which would probably be Minnie Mouse
Favorite food: pizza and ice cream (smart girl!)
Favorite toy: any stuffed animals, swing set, stroller/shopping cart, whatever Nolan is playing with
Favorite song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me
Favorite book: All of them!
This year Abby learned: how to crawl, how to walk, how to talk, sing ABC's, counting to two, some colors, and lots more. I can't wait to see what the next year brings!

**One of the things I had planned on doing this summer was taking the time to plan a really awesome birthday party for Abby. I was going to have EVERYthing themed with elaborate decorations and games and food. But you know what? It never happened. And I realized - that's not what's important to us in celebrating a birthday. So, just be aware, that Donohoe Family birthdays will likely never be anything you see on Pinterest. But we will have lots of friends and family (and food) and that's really what it's all about. People who we love and who love us celebrating the lives we share together.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why I'm Excited to Go Back to School

It's a well known fact that teacher's love time off. In fact it seems that while school's in session, that's all they talk about - to the point it becomes an obsession. How many more days to the weekend? Countdown to Christmas? Count down to Spring break? Count down to summer? Come ON snow days!!! But here's something you might not know... each August, I secretly look forward to going back to school. Here are a few reasons why I am excited this year:

1. I really do like my job. I especially like that each year we get to start over - a fresh start. Everyone comes back refreshed and ready to take on the challenges ahead. See this pic? It's pretty darn accurate...

2. I crave the structure the school day provides. I always have grand ambitions of how I'm going to schedule my time at home, but when the time comes, I just can't do it. Or rather, I just don't know HOW to do it. I think we will all benefit from getting back into a regular routine again.

3. I feel like all I do all day long is referee between Nolan and Abby and clean up little people's messes. I'll be glad to do something else for a few hours a day - even if it is dealing with unpredictable teenagers.

4. The kids get to go back to Ms. Lisa's. I've mentioned it on here before, but we really have the best babysitter in the world. I love that my kids love going there. It makes it easy to enjoy my job. They will be glad to get back to their friends there because let's face it - Mom's just not that exciting. And maybe having other people to play with will make the problem in #3 a little better?

5. If school is starting that means its almost Fall. And Fall means football games, pumpkin patches, cool weather, and lots of other fun things. But this year it also means that our NEW HOUSE will be under construction. So the sooner Fall comes, the sooner we will be in our new home. I can't wait!

That's all for now... I'll probably be singing a different tune next week after sitting in meetings all day. But I wanted to blog about this now so that in a few weeks when I'm pining for summer, I'll remember this... the grass always seems to be greener on the other side.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blacksburg's Still Got It

After spending 5 years at Virginia Tech and marrying a man from there, I quickly realized what a special place Blacksburg is. I have many (many, many, many) fond memories from college. And while everytime I go back the town has changed a lot, I'm happy to report, Blacksburg's still got it. It still has a small town feel with all amenities close at hand. It's still got lots to do, or total peace and quiet - whatever suits your pleasure. And most importantly, it's still got family in town so we can go there often with a free place to stay!
Jack was out of town this past weekend celebrating Mike's bachelor party weekend at the beach. I was craving a change of pace, so the kids and I packed up and headed down to Blacksburg for a fun-filled get-away. And let me tell you, we had a blast! I've been talking up the town and Blacksburg and how awesome it is - and, it really is - but the truth is, we really wanted to go there to spend time with Nini and Poppa. Here are some of the fun things we did:

The Playground

Since the Donohoe's live next door to an elementary school, one of the kids favorite things to do is go to the play ground there. They absolutely love it! They played on swings, slides, sand boxes, and even learned all about the USA on a map on the pavement!


It was kind of cold and rainy while we were there - definitely not your typical August weather. But that didn't keep us away from the water. We went to the Aquatic Center and enjoyed some indoor swimming fun! Nolan jumped off the diving board and they both had a blast playing with Poppa and Nini in the water.

Drive-In Movie

This was one of my favorite things to do in college - the Starlight Drive-In Theater. Can you believe they've been around for 80 years? So cool. We had a picnic dinner and watched the movie Turbo. It was a cute movie and overall fun experience. 

Price's Fork Fair

This really wasn't that exciting, but hey, here's to supporting small town local adventures right?

Virginia Tech Football Scrimmage

What's better than VT football? Not much - especially when it's free!

Movies/Shopping and Ice Cream

The boys went to see a movie (Planes, btw) and the girls went shopping and to ice cream!

Putt Putt at Cox's

One of my favorite things... putt - putt! Nolan was suprisingly good - he beat us all on the first hole! And I loved Abby's enthusiasm throughout. She would usually start her ball about 3 inches from the hole, but when she got it in, she celebrated like no other. I loved it!

Ok so that's all for now. I think it's safe to say we all had a great weekend, but we were glad to get back home to Daddy when it was over!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Random Thoughts

Here are a few random thoughts that weren't really exciting enough for a post of their own...

1. Kids say some of the funniest things... but of course when I sit down to write about them I can't remember anything. One thing I do know, is that one of my favorite things that Nolan says right now is "ridiculous" - only, it sounds more like "ridicky-lus". And for some reason every time he says it I just crack up. "Mommy, you're being ridickylus" etc.

2. Abby is the most polite little girl I have ever met. She is not even 2 yet and knows how to appropriately use the words: Please, Thank You, You're Welcome, Bless You, etc. I can't really even take credit for it, because I didn't really do anything special to make her so polite. I think she just picked up on it - kids learn everything from observation after all!

3. One thing Nolan and Abby got from their father is their love for singing and dancing. One of the things Jack and Nolan like to do together is watch music videos - Jack sings and Nolan dances. Thanks to on-demand they can watch whatever they want whenever they want. Lately their favorites have been "Wagon Wheel" and "What Makes you Beautiful" by One Direction. Recently we were in a store when One Direction came on and Nolan proclaimed "that's my song!" Sorry Justin Bieber, Nolan has a new favorite now...

Abby has not really gotten into the music videos, but she loves singing. Every morning she comes into our room to wake us up, and shortly thereafter, stands on top of the bed (because apparently you have to be standing to sing - you get the most projection I guess - see, just like Jack), and sings the ABC's. It's really cute - I should video it. It sounds mostly like "ABCBABC,uhhhhhh, ominomiPee, etc." She follows that performance with a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. And that's how we wake up each morning!

That's all for now. I'll save the rest for another post :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Another milestone for our big boy Nolan... last week he got to go to the dentist for the 1st time! 

I have no idea at what age you are suppose to start going to the dentist, but when looking at a recent pay stub I realized (again) how MUCH we pay for health insurance. So I decided we needed to be taking advantage of it. Since we are already paying for it, and Nolan seemed to be mature enough to be able to handle it, I decided to take him in for his first check-up. 

I'm proud to say that he did an awesome job. They had Disney Jr. on in the background so that helped distract him. He followed directions and best of all, had great teeth! The doctor said everything looked great! 

And in the end, he got to pick out a new toothbrush (which he was particularly excited about)!

So proud of our big boy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

6 years!

Warning. Cliche ahead: Time flies when you're having fun! I know it's cheesy, but I wrote it anyway because it's true. 6 years ago Jack and I got married. I cannot believe it has been that long. It seriously feels like ust jyesterday that I was camped out in the church kitchen (the coolest room in the building) while we waited 45 minutes for our pastor to show up late to our wedding. The past 6 years have gone by so fast! We've had our share of ups and downs - but mostly ups. I can't tell you how many times I think about how grateful I am for Jack. Like, it happens multiple times a day. And I'm not exaggerating that. God has blessed us both greatly and I'm excited to see what the next 6 (and beyond) years bring!

Now I'm sure you are wondering... what fun, exciting, cool thing did we do to celebrate our 6th anniversary?
And the answer is...
1. putt-putt
2. worst movie ever made
3. dinner at a steak house

What? Doesn't sound that exciting? Here's why we did those 3 things...
1. because I love putt-putt. It's one of my favorite things to do.
2. because we don't get to go to the movies very often. And if we do go, it is usually one of us going with friends without the other. So for us to get to go together is a real treat! Only problem is that there was a limited selection of movies at the time we needed and the one we ended up seeing was, well, terrible. Parts were funny. But overall I sat there the whole time going "I can't believe I spent $11 on this". At least the popcorn was good!
3. because we had a giftcard, and I wanted seafood and Jack wanted pasta. So this was the best compromise. See, that's what 6 years of marriage has gotten us - the art of compromise :)

So anyway, none of that may sound that great, but for us, it was awesome just to be together and enjoy the company and conversation without certain little people constantly needing something.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Summertime. When school is out and teachers rejoice. When kids abound with excess energy and parents wonder "What the heck am I going to do to entertain you all summer long? Because if I don't do something, I will go crazy." Or at least, that's what THIS parent is thinking.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being home with my kiddos in the summer. But if I don't have sufficient activities planned for the week my kids might kill each other. Abby absolutely adores her older brother and wants to do EVERYthing that he is doing. I think it's quite cute. After all they say the highest form of flattery is imitation. Unfortunately I don't think that means much to a 3 year old. To 3 year old Nolan that's just plain annoying. Hence his declaration the other day: "I don't want to be a brother anymore!" So anyway, in an effort for all of us to keep our sanity, here are a few things we've done so far this summer:

  • Pool - we have access to a neighborhood pool this summer, so we've been trying to take advantage!
  • Movies - the theaters around here offer a selection of FREE movies in the summer. Abby could care less, but Nolan enjoys it, and I enjoy getting out of the house and the fact that it's FREE. 
  • Visits with friends - trying to do this as much as possible!
  • Day trip to the beach
  • trips to the library
  • Richmond zoo (Jack and Nina went with the kiddos while I was away)
  • Science Museum
  • Trips to the farm (where there is always something interesting going on)
  • Playgrounds
  • Playing in the rain

The summer is still young, so here are some things that are still on our to-do list:

  • Go to an amusement park (or 2 - Hershey Park and Sesame Place are on the list)
  • Visit more friends/family
  • Bowling? The bowling alley has some good deals during the summer - thought it might be something worth a shot
  • Reading (mostly for me)
  • Potty training (for Abby - looking forward to the end result but not so much the process of getting there)
  • Some sort of fire pit/s'mores making
  • Several weddings, bridal showers, and birthday parties
  • Movies - lots of fun movies (for all ages) come out in the summer! 
  • go to the lake
Etc. Etc!! 

While there are plenty of "work" and "project" things to do this summer, I hope we'll take the time to enjoy some of this "fun" stuff too! Either way, I'm just excited and grateful for a job that allows me this time with my kiddos - even if they do make me crazy sometimes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We're building a house!

The big news in the Donohoe family is that we are building a house! I hope I am not jinxing anything by putting it out there on the world wide web. But I'm so excited I thought it was worth sharing!

So yeah. We are building a house out in the country! I always find it ironic because I grew up on the farm, and I always dreamed of living in "town" in a neighborhood just like everybody else. Then I got married and bought a house in "town" in a neighborhood just like everybody else. And it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. We are living in a great neighborhood now, but honestly, I can't wait to get back to the country! You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. Or something like that.

Anyway, our house ETA is Christmastime. Really praying that it gets done in a timely fashion. Wouldn't that be the best Christmas present ever? So here are some pictures of our house progress so far:

This is our future back yard:

Our future front yard... minus the rubble:

Here is how we got rid of the rubble:

Nolan posing with a stake that marks the septic system site:

The stake in the middle marks where the corner of the house will go!

So there you have it. More updates to come as we go along this process!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Girl's Weekend 2k13

Every once in a while, someone really special comes into your life. 11 years ago I was blessed to have 2 such people - girls that would become my college roommates and best friends. The best part about our friendship is that throughout the years, even though none of us live in the same state, I would still consider these girls my bestest friends. They've been with me through it all. We laugh together, pray together, and generally just enjoy life together.

Once husbands began to come into the picture, we decided we needed to set aside some special time each year to spend as just us girls. We've been taking Girl's Weekend trips for 8 years now. This past weekend was our most recent one. Amanda and I drove up to visit Rachel who just moved to upstate NY. It was the perfect weekend - we ate good food, sat around on the "beach" by the lake, did some shopping, and talked. A lot. The weather was great and the company even better. I love these girls so much and the time we get to spend together is always a blast!

Here is another pic from our trip:

It looks dreary in the pic but trust me there was plenty of sunshine! 

This trip was made extra special because I got to do it kiddo-less. Jack and Nina stayed with the kids while I was gone so I could get some much needed girl time. They seemed to have a good time while I was gone - they went to the zoo, science museum, had lunch with Uncle Brendan and dinner at the farm, and went to the movies. I'd say all in all, it was a great weekend for everyone! It was sad to leave NY, but I missed my family so much I was ready to get home!

One last pic... Here is Nolan and Abby playing with Pops on the trampoline while I was gone: