Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We spent Thanksgiving break down in Houston, enjoying lots of time with both sides of Michael's family. Of course, I didn't take a single picture on Thanksgiving day, but did manage to remember to a couple of days later for a family birthday party.

Grayson was so excited about celebrating his cousins' birthdays that he was ready to skip right over turkey day and head straight for the "happy cake." Everyday he would wake up and ask if it was time for the birthday party (that began on Monday and the party was on Saturday).

Michael and his dad also went to a University of Houston football game, so we had to take some photos of the boys in their Cougar gear.

A group shot of the kiddos from the birthday party

Grayson and Robbie (the father of the birthday kiddos) enjoyed racing down the moonbounce slide. I'm not sure which of them was having more fun!

Robbie and Rhyann (the birthday girl) enjoying some slide time too.

Cousins photo with a new addition -- Rhyann (2), Blayne (11), Grayson (4) and Lincoln (3 months)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend bonding

I've been very sick over the last week and I'm just now starting to feel normal again. We had a lot of fun planned for the weekend, but I had to miss out on some of it due to a horrible sinus infection.

Luckily, I was able to recover in time to spend an afternoon celebrating the birthdays of my sisters and brother-in-law Ben. Despite living in the same neighborhood, we're all running in 20 different directions so it was nice to spend a few hours hanging at my parent's place and just relaxing. Oh and did I mention cookie cake was involved?

Then on Sunday we had a wonderful visit from Michael's best friend Aaron who lives in San Francisco and his girlfriend MacKenzie. Again, we didn't have any set plans and just hung around the house catching up.

Grayson loved showing off for our company and brought out all his favorite dress-up gear to entertain them. Of course, they were really good sports and played along for hours.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Updates from School

We had our first parent teacher conference with Gray's Pre-K teacher and it was interesting to hear how he is doing. She walked us through several exercises and worksheets that he had done to show how various skills are developing. He seems to be right on track so that was a relief since he's the youngest kid in the class.

I talked to her about his behavior and interaction with the other students. She said he's a good boy, typically a peacekeeper, and keeps her laughing with his random, funny remarks. I talked through my concerns about him being so young compared to some of the other kids and she gave us some ways to help develop his attention span, but overall she said only time will tell.

Of course, at home it's easy to keep his attention span as we do puzzles or play memory games, but with 18 other kids running around at school I am sure he is more easily distracted. His teacher plans to do some of the same exercises again with him next semester before our next conference so it will be interesting to see how much he changes between now and then.

The school nurse also recently sent home results from a health check they did in his class. They checked things like height, weight, hearing and oral hygiene. Everything checked out great, but his BMI (body mass index) is in the 4th percentile which is on the border of being underweight. Despite being a good eater, he's always been a string bean so it's just something we'll have to keep an eye on.

That's the latest from his elementary school. His favorite parts of the day are going to the library (every Monday), bringing home the snack bag (which means we're in charge of taking snacks for the class the next day), attending assemblies (every Friday) and playing outside. What's not to like about all that?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Everyday Life

Lately, we haven't had anything "blog-worthy" to report, but I must admit the phase we're in with Grayson is pretty good at the moment. I know the minute I share this with the world things will change, but we're all having a lot of fun together.

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, we've been reading and talking a lot about what it means to be thankful. I can tell he's soaking it all in and he often (out of nowhere) starts listing things he's thankful for (usually family members). He also started wanting to write people thank you notes unprompted which makes my heart happy.

Gray loves holidays and Christmas in particular, so the fact that every store we visit already has trees up and Christmas songs playing thrills him to no end. Of course, his daddy is a firm believer in not putting a single decoration up until after Thanksgiving so we haven't quite pulled our holiday cheer down from the attic.

Another fun development is Grayson's interest in learning to write. He wasn't very excited about it until he started Pre-K and now he can write his first name without assistance. Everywhere we go he's identifying letters or at least trying to. It's fun to see everything click inside his brain as he puts it all together.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Destination Wedding

Last weekend, Michael and I took our first child-free getaway to attend a wedding in Florida. Our friends John and Whitney got married in Sarasota and we decided to join them beach-side a few days early to soak up some sun and catch up before their big day.

It was such a fun trip, reuniting with so many friends that we knew from our days in St. Louis. While it would have been nice for them to see Gray so grown up, I must admit it felt decadent to socialize on our own schedule...I even got halfway through a real book, not just a magazine!

The wedding was in a gorgeous church where the bride's parents and sister were married and then we drove over to a breathtaking oak grove for the reception. It was like stepping into the pages of a movie or a magazine or something. So beautiful and perfect, just what our friends deserved.

Of course, I realized a few days in to the trip that we hadn't taken a single picture. Being beach bums kept us very busy. Here are a few shots we managed to capture:

The view from our room

The view from Michael's beach-side lounge chair

Our cute Fiat rental car...gotta love an unexpected upgrade!

This was the path you walk down to get to the wedding reception. Such a cool place.

Me with my long-lost friend Mandy. She now lives in Atlanta but once upon a time we were interns together at a PR firm in St. Louis. Hard to believe that was nine and a half years ago! About 10 seconds before we took this picture I was laughing uncontrollably and tears were streaming down my face. Mandy seems to have that effect on me. 

All dressed up and ready for dinner under the canopy

I love that they set it up with long farm tables. Here's the pre-dinner shot. 

Once the sun went down it was even more beautiful with twinkle lights draped from tree-to-tree and candles everywhere. 

Mandy and I with the beautiful bride Whitney. 

The newlyweds (aka our partners in crime during our STL days...we were inseparable! Oh how I miss these two!)

You can only imagine the laughs that John and Michael have shared over the years. They wanted their picture taken with John and Whitney's dog Lotus. She's practically as big as they are. 

And last, but not least, I should give a big shout out to my dad and Susan for keeping Gray while we were gone. He was so busy having fun with them that I don't think he realized we were even gone for four days. It was easy for Michael and I to relax and enjoy ourselves knowing our boy was having fun too. Thanks, Pappa & Susu!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm gonna be an auntie (again)!

I have been waiting what seems like forever to share the wonderful news that my little sister Emily and her husband Levi are going to have a baby!! 

She's finishing up her first trimester and officially posted the news on her blog here, so that gave me the green light to share it with you. Isn't the picture they took in their climbing shoes adorable? I love that their dog Molly even has some on. 

We cannot wait to meet the new little guy or girl!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let me catch you up

Michael and I have just returned from a four-day getaway to Florida, but before I get to that I need to catch you up on last week. 

We harvested the last crop from our vegetable garden -- sweet potatoes. They didn't quite turn out as big and beautiful as I remember from my granddad's garden when I was a child. I'm guessing that's because he had an acreage instead of a small six-foot raised bed like ours. 

Anyway, it was fun to learn the process first-hand and dig up the little tuber treasures. 

Then it was time for Halloween! My dad and Susan arrived from Mississippi just in time for some potato soup and trick-or-treating. Gray and Holt got to go together this year and made it quite a long way. 

This was the first year that we lost control of picking Gray's Halloween costume. He chose all by himself and insisted on being a fireman like his Uncle Levi. 

Gray the fireman with Holten the ninja turtle

The boys got a kick out of Susu's devil horn headband

Every year we always start our trick-or-treating at our next door neighbor's house. They enjoy seeing whatever costume we've concocted and this year they got to dress up their own sweet baby girl Cooper. She was Raggedy Ann with the most adorable wig that was as big as she is. Of course, we had to take a picture and I love that the wig is so large it's covering half her face. She was not a happy camper, but we all got a kick out of it...isn't that what Halloween is all about when you have a baby?

The fireman counting all his loot at the end of the night