Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Alabama 2015: Part II

In an effort to post my 2015 trip before 2015 runs out, I'm sitting in bed typing this at almost 10 at night.  I may choose to be less wordy.

Here are a couple pictures of us hanging out outside at my dad's house.  The weather was so perfect.  The kids loved being outside.  Lynnaea loved seeing all the bugs (centipedes and beetles and ants) roaming in the grass.  Corbin loved trying to eat leaves.

 Super happy boy!
 We headed back to Birmingham on Friday, the 20th.  It was mostly so we didn't have to do a ton of traveling back to back with the kiddos.  So we made the most of the rest of our stay with my dad.
 Then we started packing.  Lynnaea played outside while we packed.
 Corbin checked out more leaves.
 And tried to eat them some more.
 Lynnaea's got better taste than her brother...  She was sticking with the THRIVE Snackies.
 We snapped a few pictures outside my dad's house before we went.
 I love this picture :).
 On our way back, we swung through Montgomery and met up with Julia-Ann.  I'm so glad it worked out where we could see her this trip!  We got to see her cute library and then we hit up Chick-Fil-A.  Mostly because it has a play place, and it's a great way to let Lynnaea get some energy burned off before we get back in the car.
 We got back to Julie's and unpacked once again.  We hung out and Jon grilled burgers.  Yum.

Saturday morning, we all went to Cracker Barrel!  It was a fun time!  Greg and April and family plus Jon and Julie and family plus us!  The only downfall was that we couldn't all talk together.  A huge round table would have been way more fun.  Ah well.  It was still awesome.
 Greg and April and the littles went to Jon and Julie's house that evening too.  We watched the Alabama Football game (they won) and ate football food.  We all made different things.  Do delicious!
 We got pictures of these two cuties:  Corbin and Eleanor.
 We snapped a picture of the three of us gals.  And then we had to say good-bye to April and Greg :(. 

Sunday we went to church at the Alabaster Ward.  They invited us to move there and go all the time ;).  In the afternoon, we went to a park in Hoover and met up with my friend Patrick.  Got to meet his two cute kids. 

Then we had to start packing.  And getting prepped for the next full day of travel :(.  Boo.

So Monday morning, we took some pictures.  Corbin is awesome.
 We love Julie and Jon.  We so appreciate all they do for us every time we visit.  Julie collected a ton of baby stuff from people she knows so that we would have what we needed for our Corbin-roo.  Traveling with kids -- especially a baby -- can be a challenge.  I so appreciate how much Julie and April did for us to make it easier!
And then we flew away.  We got back home about 11 our time (which made for about 13 hours of travel time for our little family).  The kids did great.  We were exhausted.  But it was worth it. 

Until next time, Alabama.  Stay sweet ;).

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Alabama 2015 (Part I)

I'm loving this going to Alabama every year thing.  But one of these days, it will probably stop happening.  I mean, it's pricey to fly with lots of kids.  And we now have to buy 3 tickets every time.  Plus, it's super-long days.  For us and the kids.  It's like we're carrying a ticking time bomb, ya know?  The kids could explode at any second.

But we haven't reached that point yet.  We went this year, and it rocked.  As always. 

We woke up bright and early (like 4 a.m.) to get going.  Truthfully, our alarms were set for like 4:15 or 4:30.  But Corbin is a good little alarm clock, and he woke us up at 4.  We got him fed and put him back down in our room to sleep while we got the rest of our stuff packed and then got Lynnaea up and fed.  She's such a little trooper.  She was super-excited.  My mom picked us up and dropped us off at the airporter.  It was still dark outside, and Corbin isn't known for doing really well in his car seat when it's dark outside.  But apparently he doesn't mind traveling, as long as he can be held.  Since it's not required that he be in a car seat on the airporter, I just held him.  He even fell asleep for the last half-hour of the ride.  Awesome kid.  Then we got to the airport, and Lynnaea was helping to roll one of our bags (the lightest one).  Such a cutie.  I wish I'd have gotten a picture.  But we were pretty heavy-laden with luggage and such.  We got checked in, got through security, and stopped at the play area in the airport to gather our wits about us, change diapers, use the restroom, and let Lynnaea burn off some energy.  Then we headed to our gate.

This was us right before boarding our first flight in Seattle.  It should speak to how we feared it would go.
But our kids are awesome.  Corbin got fussy once on each flight for maybe 5 minutes.  Then he fell asleep both times.  He enjoyed eating carrots and apples mid-flight from those squeezy pouch things (which are awesome).  Again, I wish I'd have taken pictures.  He was the happiest kid when eating those things.  Julie and Shayla picked us up at the airport.  We got Chick-Fil-A on the way to Julie's house.  Then we visited for a bit and then hit the hay.  The next day was Veterans' Day, so Julie was off work, and she fed the baby.  Look at that cheeser!
It was a relaxing day, and all I had to do was pick up the rental car and go to Costco and get formula.  Lynnaea spent the day chasing Julie's cats and playing with Callen and Shayla.  To say Lynnaea was in heaven is probably an understatement.  And that means we were too...  

Due to a mistake on my part, we didn't end up going to Tuscaloosa on Thursday as originally planned.  Instead we went on Friday.
 So that meant we just drove in and ate lunch with these two fabulous ladies, and then drove right back out, since we had a big shin-dig planned at April's house that evening!
 I love Annie and Virginia.  Love that they always make time to see me when I visit.  They are wonderful.  We ate at The Blue Plate so I could introduce Jeremy to the "Meat and 3" type places in the South.  Yum.  Corbin enjoyed mashed potatoes.
 Then we went to April's and started our plans for our 80s Cartoon party.  It is so cool when you have friends that didn't even know each other, and then, because they move within 10 minutes of each other and you come to visit frequently, they meet and they end up liking each other and now we all hang out!  And do awesome stuff like this.  So...  I was Rainbow Brite.  Corbin was a Ninja Turtle.  Lynnaea was supposed to be my Twink, but she refused to wear the costume and only would don the head-band later.  Julie was Jem and Shayla was Jem's sister Kimber.  April was an 80s gal, while Greg was a Nintendo Controller ;).  Bennett and Callen were Mario and Luigi.  It was so much fun!  We had themed food, of course.  But you'll have to check out my foodie blog for that, if you're interested.
 Here we are again.  All about the 80s.
 Aw, best friends.
 Here is little Twink.  That stinker.  She'd have made a super-cute Twink.  I guess when you're 2, you just don't understand the importance of the 80s and theme parties...

We spent that night at April's house.  Always such a nice time.  We got to hang out with two babies!  Then we headed to Dothan.  We stopped on the way and met up with a friend from Panama.  She was one of my Young Women leaders back in 1997/1998.  And now I look like the older one!  Heavy sigh.  But it was so awesome to see her again. 
 Spit-up on my shirt and everything ;).
We got to Dothan, did some shopping.  Then pretty much settled in.  We went to church on Sunday, but I had assumed all was the same as usual.  Well, you know what they say about assuming...  The times have changed.  You either go at 8:30 or at 10:30.  And we showed up at 9.  Yay us.  So we ended up attending 1st Ward meetings, and I was only able to catch a few people from 2nd Ward.  But still good to see who I was able to see.  And then I still got to hang with Stacy and Becky for a bit on Tuesday, and did Firehouse Subs with Karen on Monday.  All wonderful times!

We met up with Anne at the mall one day in Dothan and Lynnaea rode the carousel.  Twice, much to Jeremy's chagrin.  Anne totally gave Lynnaea the money to ride a second time.  Sweet Anne.  And sweet Lynnaea :). 
I didn't do pictures of it, but I also hung out with Donna a bit at Troy Dothan and helped make a Christmas Book Tree.  And talked mosaics.  Donna can still make me laugh a lot. 

Okay, I think I'm going to split this post in 2.  I wasn't originally planning to, but I have decided I will.  I get too wordy, and then the time flies.  But it's good.  I want to record stuff.  So, I'll post more later (who knows when :/...) about the rest of my awesome Alabama Trip!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Corbin: 6 Months

Dear Corbin,

Since I was so late writing for your 5th month birthday, you'd think there wouldn't be so many changes!  But you'd be wrong!  Because every day brings something new as you grow and develop!

Your biggest new thing:  getting up on your knees -- by yourself! -- and rocking back and forth.  I won't be a bit surprised if you're crawling by Christmas!  You are beyond ready for that accomplishment, I can just tell.  I am pretty sure you know you can do it.  You just have to figure out how.  But it's coming.  And soon!

You're still a happy little guy.  You smile so much.  And you "talk" a lot too!  And you laugh!  I love your laugh.

You are really doing great with sitting up and grabbing for toys.  You've learned how to maintain your balance, even when picking up something somewhat heavy (for a little guy your size, that is). Because you are sitting up so well, Mommy is now letting you get in the "big tub" with Lynnaea and get baths at the same time.  You are loving that.  And you love splashing!

You love to eat "real" food.  There isn't much you don't enjoy (though I recently learned you don't care for plain cream of wheat.  Every bite you took, you made a face that clearly portrayed your opinion of it!  But you love other stuff:  rice cereal mixed with applesauce or squash or green peas; any of those by themselves; bananas; THRIVE fruit crisps (I like to give them to you in your little mesh feeder ring, but Daddy gives them to you as is and you handle it fine -- Mommy's just a scaredy cat ;)).  You've enjoyed mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, carrots...  You're just a good eater in general.  You also really enjoy holding onto the rice teethers and eating those.

You are slowing down in growth a bit (we'll see how much at your next well-baby check), so you aren't growing out of your clothes quite as quickly as you were before!  But you're still a big boy :). 

Corbin, you are a blessing.  As I looked at these pictures I took of you today, my heart just melted.  I love you so much.  I'm so grateful you joined our family.  It's true, there are hard days.  That's just life.  But you are such a blessing.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mom.

Love Always,