Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Transition Out

We love our house.  I kinda feel like I'm betraying it by abandoning it willy nilly like this.  I promise it's nothing personal, House. We just need more space!  Isaiah and Sammy came home from the hospital to this house.  We rode bikes in the cul de sac, ran to neighbors houses, swung in the backyard, climbed trees, played in leaf piles, planted Lilacs and Roses.  

What started as a whim two days after Thanksgiving in Texas, quickly became one packed box:

 Then it became empty walls.  (So sorry, House! We really do love you and have so many fond memories!)
 Then there were piles of boxes.  Everywhere.
 And more empty spots.  On walls, bookshelves, and a little in our hearts.
 And before we knew it, here we were eating breakfast on the floor because everything has been packed into trucks on their way to Texas.
 We will follow soon.  Because for now, this is the best (and only!) seat in the house:
 Walls have fresh coats of paint.   Soon cleaners will come for the bathrooms and carpets.
And before we can blink, we'll be driving to Texas.  And our new home.   New adventures.  New friends.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quick Change Artist

We spent Thanksgiving in Texas at Grandma and Grandpa A's house. We ate great food, saw dinosaurs at an awesome park, played at a playground until we were too sweaty in the 76 degree sunshine, and hung out with some our favorite people.  Saturday night we were sitting around chatting and my Mom asked, "Have you guys ever thought about renting out your house in VA and moving into a rental somewhere else?"  And the answer is, yes. We have thought about that.  We love our house in VA, but it is too small for us. We are bursting at the seams.  We need more bedrooms and we wish Richard had a better office at home.

So we thought we'd just check out the market so that we could continue to consider this later.   And we became drunk on the thought of square footage.    Nearly triple the square footage as we have in VA could be ours for almost an equal price! And a pool! And the schools are amazing! And close to Grandma and Grandpa A! And Aunt Ruth!

By Tuesday afternoon we had signed a lease for a 5 bedroom, 4 bath, pool, 4,000+ square foot rental house.  By now, Wednesday night, we have a moving company booked, a property management company chosen, and boxes ordered.  I've (happily) resigned from the PTA, asked to be released from my calling at church, and declined to help at several other things.  Hopefully by Friday our home will be listed on websites as "for rent".  By December 18 our stuff will be driving to Texas.  We'll follow in a few days when school is out.  We'll spend Christmas with Grandma and pa.  Then we'll move in just after Christmas.  The kids will start their new school January 7.

This started Saturday night and today is Wednesday.  This whirlwind is totally blowing my mind.  But it's so right. Every thing that could have been a block to this grand scheme, has easily breezed past us. It's all just falling into place.  We can only thank our Heavenly Father for guiding us through this.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Seven Favors From Seven Friends

Naomi went to E's house, Asher went to W's house, Isaiah went to Kevin and Kelly's house, Sammy went to H's house (then switched to M's house before heading to Kevin and Kelly's).  Plus Naomi and Asher came home from school to a neighbors house and were picked up from there.  So, all told, it took seven favors from seven friends for Richard and I to leave home for 36 hours.  So, I thought, we'd better make every moment count!  We'd better love our 11th Anniversary celebration!

Our plans were to head toward Baltimore, take a sunset hot air balloon ride, then head to our Baltimore hotel.  But the weather had another plan. Our hot air balloon ride was cancelled for wind.  So we bought tickets to a comedy club. But then we went to dinner at this incredibly fancy and seriously delicious restaurant in Baltimore and spent so long there that we missed our comedy act.  (If you're even in Baltimore and have plenty of spare change, go to Charleston Restaurant.  Yum!)  At this point in our day, it sounded like we were having a bad day.  But in reality we were just happy to be together. We enjoyed our dinner and each other so much that we didn't feel bad about missing the comedy club.

When we checked into our hotel room, I was blown away by the view. Right outside our window was Baltimore's Inner Harbor.  Gorgeous.
 We walked around the pier, took a water taxi to another place just for the sake of the boat ride, did some window shopping, peeked in a few art galleries, ate way too much and way too often, saw a movie, and reminisced about our wedding day, engagement day, anniversaries past, etc.

It was all just lovely.  Worth every one of those seven favors from seven friends!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Family Photo Shoot

My friend Carrie (of Carrie Hanna Photography) did such a fabulous job on these photos.  It was a pretty chilly day so she did a lot of photoshopping-out snot and red noses.  I love the colors and the reminder of beautiful Fall Virginia days.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Isaiah Update

Isaiah is still a squishy little pudgy baby in my mind.  And in his mind, too.  Even though he has lost so much of his squish. And he's 5 whopping years old.  He still loves to be hugged and loved on and cuddled like a baby.  But he wants to be treated like the big kids, too.  
He's in Kindergarten this year and doing great.  He wasn't exactly ahead of the game when he started, but the learning environment seems to be just right for him and he's really flourishing.  He enjoys school, so he's willing to do the work. 

He and I both enjoy the time that we have together each day. He gets home from Kindergarten around 11am so we have a couple of hours where the focus can really be on him.

Isaiah is terrified of water bigger than a bath tub.  He barely got in the Ocean at the beach. He dances around the edge of pools.
So I put him in private swim lessons at a friends house.  And this is how he spends his lessons:
I'm seriously considering throwing him in at our next lesson.

Isaiah is a great kid. He's a great addition to our family dynamics.  He does need to work on "using his words" instead of just breaking into tears when he's frustrated. But, like I said, he thinks he's the baby.

Sammy Update

Sammy. What can I say about Sammy.  He's adorable. He's stubborn.  He screams like a banshee just for fun sometimes.  He enjoys tormenting other children.  He talks like crazy.  He loves his siblings.  He doesn't walk, he runs.  And if Isaiah was our "Poochy" holding our leg and sniffing around, Sammy is our Parrot. He repeats everything!

Proof on adorableness:

When this boy turns on the charm, you melt.

Proof he's stubborn:
Today we went to the school to do some quick copying for the PTA and Sammy decided he didn't want to be there so he screamed - not cried, just screamed - until I ran out of there with him under my arm and the stares of patient but annoyed faculty boring into my back.  
 Proof that he enjoys tormenting other children.  Just ask baby cousin Betsy who he discovered hated his scream so he would walk up to her and let out a succinct scream.  Or baby cousin Ollie who he discovered didn't like to be touched, so he would walk up, shove him and run away.  Or baby cousin Ethan who he alternates between screaming at, stealing toys, and shoving.'s a miracle these families play with us anymore...

Proof that he loves his siblings: He puts on his backpack every morning and walks them to the bus stop in the hope that this will be the day that we let him join the fun on the bus.  When Sammy and I came back from our weekend getaway to Grandma's house (just Sammy and I met up with my sisters and their babies), Sammy was happy to see Daddy, but he was ecstatic to see his siblings.  He is often seen chasing after them yelling, "Hey! Guys!"  He asks me through the day, "Where Guys?"

We recently celebrated Sammy's 2nd birthday (squeezed into the 24 hours that both Richard and I were home between his trip to Brazil and my trip to Texas).  He loved being the star of the day.  And singing Happy Birthday.
 And this helicopter that has it's own remote control!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Semi versus Prius

Richard was very generous to me this year on my birthday. He bought me this beautiful Janome sewing machine.  It has 100 stitches and is digital and fancy and makes sense and is just a million times better than my old, refurbished machine.  My old machine growled at me.  Seriously.  Sometimes it yelled at me.  Sometimes I threatened to throw it out the window.  It wasn't a nice relationship.  A good comparison would be to say that my old machine sounded like a semi truck, whereas this lovely new machine purrs like a Prius.  
 I've been reading the instruction manual and trying this or that, but my first real project on this machine was a cover for my tablet.  I had looked at several tutorials online but the end result was kind of my hybrid of several tutorials and pictures (fitting, since this machine is my Prius).  You can't really see in the pictures, but I even machine quilted some of the circles to add a little texture and interest.
I think it turned out great!  My pretty new machine had to sew through eight - thats 8 - layers at one point to make this.  And it did it!  Without even complaining!
I love my cheery little tablet case, but what I really love is having a nice machine.  And a sweet husband.

(I'm thinking I should do a little red blanket stitch along the edges...But I can't decide.  What do you think?)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Sammy and Mommy

Yesterday was the first day of school (pics hopefully coming soon once I figure out how to get photos off the camera and onto my computer now that I've got this new Mac).  So it was just Sammy and I for a whoppping 3 hours! Sammy has recently started giving up his morning nap, so we really are totally free for those hours. It's so different from last years insane schedule that it's hard for me to wrap my head around!  He and I played cars and made a treat for the big kids for when they got home, we went to fabric store, and even had time to hang out in the parking lot watching the "diggers" as they re-paved the lot. It was so luxurious!  Hooray for Sammy/Mommy time!

Here we are watching the diggers:

Sammy just saw these photos and said, "I watch truck! I wear flip flops!"  Such a cutie!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Seemed that we needed some updated cuteness. Here's the very latest!