Monday, September 27, 2010

Baby #2!

We couldn't be happier to announce:


Russell is going to be a big brother!

I'm 11 weeks pregnant, due April 14, 2011.

Here's the sweet new baby (from 2 1/2 weeks ago):


Russell and his little sibling will be 22 months apart, and we think that's a great age difference. Okay, it will be hard on us for the next few years, but then (we hope) they will be best friends, playing the same sports together, going to the same school, doing activities together, etc.

So far, this pregnancy has been easier than my pregnancy with Russell, and I'm really hoping it stays that way! I have definitely been nauseous but have not actually "gotten sick." I was totally exhausted the first few weeks, but I've gotten a little more energy back lately.

So far, I predict:
--that this baby is a boy (Jason thinks it's a girl)
--that he will come late like his brother - I am not getting my hopes up for delivering at 37 weeks like I thought I would last time!
--that he will be an easy baby. I don't know why I think this, but I do, so I hope I'm right :)

We are so excited for all the fun things to come!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beach House Fun

Well, we just returned from an amazing, relaxing {as much as possible with a 15-month-old, anyway}, sun-soaked, family-filled week at the beach! Beautiful weather, although a little bit hot, but no rain all week! We were there an entire week, as were Jason's parents and Jason's aunt Nancy, and for the last part of the week, Jason's cousins Scott and Kate came, and Jason's cousin Kasey came with her girls Anna and Renee! A packed house, but very fun!

I've decided to break this up into a few different posts because I have tons of pictures, of course! So this post is about Russell's enjoyments besides the ocean and sand.

We packed probably 75% of his toys (that he currently uses) and 12 board books in a huge suitcase, knowing that even with family and the ocean, the kid gets bored sometimes.

This was one of his favorite spots all week:


He loved climbing in the suitcase and playing, and he also loved repeatedly climbing in and out of the suitcase. Too cute :)

Sweet Paw Paw and Kacki brought along a pool for Russell, which he sat in (and climbed in and out of, too) every day after getting out of the ocean.


Trying to catch (and/or drink) running water - always a favorite activity.

His expression in this next picture reminds me so much of my brother Jon's "Elvis" expression when he was a baby!


Our beach house was oceanfront (the only way to be!) and had a nice deck with 4 rocking chairs. Russell really liked them.



Salt in the air, Sand at my feet

{title - The Embers, anyone? :)}

I could not believe how much Russell enjoyed both the ocean and the sand! I was completely expecting meltdowns at the loud ocean noise (since he doesn't like loud noises) and eating fistfuls of sand. Well, some sand did get eaten, but only when he was late for snack time or meal time.

Russell wanted to walk A LOT. As he's not steady on his feet yet, Jason and I spent the majority of the time passing him back and forth when one of our backs got sore.


Russell went as far into the waves as we'd let him go. He had no fear and even thought it was funny when some of the waves almost knocked him over.


He also loved picking out his favorite shells and handing them to us.


Of course, there were a few times when he just did not want to be out there anymore. In the below picture, Russell is screaming, Jason is saying "this isn't working, no pictures, let's just go in" and I'm really trying to pretend we're going to get a happy family picture.


Russell already had a bit of a tan prior to this beach trip so I really tried hard to avoid the peak sun hours and apply that 50 SPF liberally! Hopefully he didn't get too much "bad" sun but either way, he had a great time out there!

Pine Knolls Aquarium

Russell loves fish, so I was really hoping we'd have a chance to go to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. It was only 20 minutes from where we were staying. Luckily, Paw Paw and Kacki wanted to go as well, so we made a morning of it on Thursday. Russell did enjoy parts of it, but what can you expect of a toddler? He was pretty good while we were there.

Statue outside the aquarium:




Photography note: Lighting is horrible in aquariums, and you really can't use the flash with all the glass in there. It was challenging! (Like in the pic below, I had to use the slowest shutter speed ever to let in more light - hence the blur.)


Russell was a fan of the tanks where you could touch the fish. He didn't really want to touch them; he just wanted to play in get in the water.


By far my favorite aquarium photo (below): silhouette of Paw Paw and Russell watching the fish.


Russell's favorite part: a big tank full of colorful fish near the exit.
My favorite part: the otters! I wish I could have photographed their flips and tricks!
Jason's favorite part: scuba-diving aquarium employees lecturing about the sharks from inside the shark tank.

I definitely recommend the aquarium if you get a chance to visit. Beautiful and informative.


Kasey and her girls, Anna (4) and Renee (2), met us at the beach on Thursday night. (Tony, Kasey's husband, couldn't make it due to work.) The girls were so excited to see and play with Russell. It was adorable. The last time they were together was at Thanksgiving - don't know if the girls remembered him or not but they loved him! They thought his baby talk was hilarious and would laugh whenever he said something :)

In the photo below, Russell had wanted to sit in the chair so I plopped him in there. Quick as a wink, Anna and Renee had climbed up there too to be with him! He didn't really know what to make of it.


I also got a few pictures of them by the water:



I wish I had gotten more pictures of them together, but as you can imagine, the whole day was pretty chaotic! It was so nice to see them - they are such sweet girls. Now that they live about 4 hours closer to us, hopefully we will see them more often :)

Family Photos

Last beach post!

On our last night at the beach, I wanted to take some family photos. I knew Russell wouldn't last long before wanting to get down (and therefore either get sandy or be upset in the pictures because he wanted to get down.) So, being the anal organized person I am, I gave everyone detailed instructions on what we were going to do, took some Cheerios with us as a bribe, handed Kasey my camera, and hoped for the best!

These two were the best, though there were several runners-up. I think they turned out quite nicely!



What a fun time we had at the beach this year! Can't wait to do it again in 2011!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rah-rah, Carolina-lina

I know it's possible, but I really can't fathom how one could not love Chapel Hill. The Old Well, Top of the Hill, Tar Heel blue skies - so many things to love.

We experienced all of it on Saturday when we went to the football game. (Granted, we didn't win, but I had a great day regardless.)

The most important part:


Some of my favorite girls in the world - my best friends from college, my sorority sisters. I could fill books with the good memories I have with these girls. I'm so glad we still keep in touch.

Edit: and here's my favorite pic of us from college - Spring Break 2004 in Mexico:


Just a fun little trip down memory lane :)

Anyway, Jason and I parked near my sorority house and took a little tour, then headed down near the stadium to meet the girls and their fiances/boyfriend for some cornhole, photos, and general tailgating.

Then, the game:


Seats on the lower level (thanks Alisha!) It was a really close game and fun to watch, but it got SO HOT...isn't it supposed to be fall? So after the first half, we walked back through campus - stopping for an Old Well photo op:


...and then watched the rest of the game at Top of the Hill (much better food, great atmosphere, COOLER!)


(oh yeah, and SOMEONE didn't wear Carolina blue - but neither did Anna's fiance (also a State grad))

And Russell had a great time with Paw Paw and Kacki. Could not have been a better day. Carolina, priceless gem, receive all praises thine!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bunch of Randomness

It's only been a week, but so much is happening that I feel like my blog is way behind.

WE ARE OFFICIALLY MOVING! We have a rent-to-own agreement with a nice couple for our condo, and we are moving to a 3-bedroom house that is 5-10 minutes away from our church and Jason's office (instead of 30 like we are now). We could not be happier! Our house is an insane packing zone - there are even boxes in our tiny half bathroom:


And had we known we would be moving, we probably would not have planned 2 big vacations within the next month. But we did, and we will be going here (with family):


And here (Jamaica! for our 5-year anniversary, just the 2 of us!):


Not to mention that it's football season. This may not mean much to you, but for us, it means heading to college football games nearly every weekend. You are hard-pressed to get Jason to miss a single Wolfpack game. In fact, one happens to be on our moving weekend. Who knows how that will happen.

(at a game a few years ago)

Russell has been having fun lately. I picked up these window clings for $1 at Target, mind you, not to decorate with them, but because I thought Russell might enjoy them. And he did!

(Please excuse the grossness of the door - someone likes to put his little hands all over it...and possibly lick it from time to time. I do clean it, but someone said that "cleaning with children in the house is like shoveling the driveway while it's still snowing" - so true.)


Naturally he had to taste one.


Well I guess I won't make this book any longer than it is! Basically, all this is to say, we're having a wonderful, if jam-packed, week/month :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long Weekend Recap

We had a great long weekend with my family. I always hate coming back to an empty house (no people, no groceries, too much laundry) after a weekend filled with fun.

Not only did we get to see my immediate family, but we also got to see much of my extended family, as we all celebrated my cousin's wedding!

I was way too busy having fun to get many pictures.

Although I captured this sweet one of Uncle Jef and Russell:


Okay, I actually did get a lot of pics at the rehearsal dinner. This is because my mom stayed home with Russell, so my attention wasn't divided :)

This is definitely the best pic of Jason and me in recent memory:


We were early birds to the dinner - here are Jef and Jon with Uncle Dan (before most people had arrived):


But eventually everyone came. This is some of the crowd (let's be honest, most people were hanging around the bar):


Bride and groom!


It was such a nice night - and the wedding the next night was fabulous as well. It really couldn't have been a better weekend. Even the drive wasn't that bad (which is saying a lot with Russell along!)

We've got so many more wonderful things coming up this month - I've been looking forward to September for a long time! Football games, beach, maybe moving? Stay tuned for all those things in the weeks to come :)