Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Friday, July 12, 2013

Archer turns TWO

Archer turned two June 22nd - say it ain't so?!  Where does the time go?  It feels like just a few short months ago Amanda and I were trading shoulders to lean on during those first few weeks of newborn life. Now they are running full speed ahead and loving life!  What fun!

We met at Crestwood Park to play and have the most delightful car race you've ever seen - so cute!  Then headed back to Archer's house to enjoy yummy cake and lunch treats.  We had a wonderful time hanging out with sweet friends and celebrating this precious little man's life.  What a treat it is to be a part of his life.  We sure love us some Archer man!

 Attempting to swing - we've got to do some strength training!

 Little mama climbing up to the top all by herself - "I do it mama, I do it"

 Slide fun - these two have so much fun together!

 Archer getting ready to get his race on ...

 Big muscles hard at work

Lining up ... on your mark, get set, GO

Cutest cake ever (I look forward to it every year; best cake in town!)! 

 Me, Leigh and a busy bee Caroline

 Singing Happy Birthday to Archer - he's not sure what to think!

 Group photo - best we could do!

Digging in the drink tub just like last year (and look at those sweet curls!!)

 Me and my buddy - Happy Birthday Archer!  We love you!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Swimming Lessons

As soon as we got home from the beach Catherine Ellis started her second year of swimming lessons at the JCC.  She LOVED swimming lessons last year and this year was no different - we looked forward to lessons with lots of excitement.

We had the same instructor we had last year - Miss Anna - and we adore her. She's a great teacher!  The biggest difference between last year and this year is that Catherine Ellis was ready to swim, physically and mentally.  Within a day or two of lessons she was face in the water swimming and so proud of herself!

She was the best swimmer in her class by the end (of course!) of her two weeks.  We are SO proud of her! She's still got a lot of learning to do, but being floaty free is the way to be!

Here are some highlights from her lessons:

Catherine Ellis's first day of lessons - they remain in the water the entire lesson on a platform.  Ingenious!  Gets them used to the water without them realizing it! 

 Little mama was NOT excited about having to sit on the sidelines - bless.

Kicking practice - by the end of lessons she was down to one kick board (no noodle!) 

Floating on her own at YMCA lessons (every week this summer at school)

 Little was never far from Big - literally

 Watching over her Sissy

I had to share how sweet their bond is on Instagram

Catherine Ellis and Miss Anna (no tears this year!)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Toes in water, Hinies in the sand!

Our long-awaited trip to the beach finally arrived!  We'd be counting down the days for months and getting more and more excited as the days got closer.  Finally Saturday morning arrived and we were beach-bound as soon as we could get packed up and headed south.

We spent the week with our very, dear, terrific, fantastic, wonderful and adventurous friends - the Liles!  Hill and Catherine Ellis are best buds and Pailet and Caroline became fast friends (as friendly as two-year olds can be! ha!).  They used to live in sweet home Alabama, but moved to Virginia last year and we've missed them SO.  It was a wonderful week that started off with Tropical Storm Andrea - rip tides, big waves and lots of rain, but only lasted a day and a half and the sun came out and the rest of our time was gorgeous.

Catherine Ellis and Caroline LOVE the water - they are like little fish - ready at a moment's notice to hit the beach, pool, wherever water can be found.  Caroline was old enough to really enjoy the water this time (we went in September and she still too small to grasp waves, etc.) and Catherine Ellis turned into a swimming machine (with her floaties).  Hill was determined he was going to learn how to swim this week as well - so David had his hands full.  Pailet was indifferent - she seemed to enjoy the pool, but the ocean had to grow on her.

This was the first time I had been able to spend a lot of quality time with Pailet (you'll remember she's my gorgeous god-daughter).  I really enjoyed getting to know her and her spunky little self.  She's delightful, calm and plays well alone (something I wish she'd teach my children to do!).  She's also got a squeal that will light a fire under you - and when she uses it, just know she means business.  We bonded and she even let me bathe her (something she doesn't enjoy) several times!  She's adorable that one!  Don't you agree?

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking - just know that it was wonderful.  I hope we can do it every year and rest assured we learned some valuable lessons that we'll put into action for our next trip together (like kids grow tired of the beach (and each other!) after about 5 days and Daddy's are crucial to a successful trip with all the hauling of beach items, tent, throwing of kids in the air, jumping of waves, surfing and swimming).  Thank you Liles for inviting us and helping us kick off the summer vacation style like we never have before.  We love you!

WARNING: There are LOTS of pics here - cherishing memories!

Story time as soon as we arrived - Pinkalicious was a huge hit!
Braving the waves with Daddy the first day

Caroline LOVES a thrill - you can tell CE is a bit more cautious

Rainy and huge waves

Dancing to Panic under the tent during a downpour

Dinner at Lulu's our first full day

Twos sisters chatting it up 

We got to see these special folks - the girls ADORE Erica and Brock

Big hugs!

This tells the real story - ha!

Allison and Hill taught CE great games - this is Crazy 8s

Snuggling with my boo - this girl LOVES her mama.

Swimming practice with Hill - he's doing great!

Little mama demanding snacks - we eat no matter where we are - seriously.


Typical pic from this busy crew - after dinner at Wolf Bay
(first time in my life we've ever been an no wait!)

These two can scurry when you yell "rain" - a quick clean up

This one is always working hard

Practicing her wake board moves

Ready for her first plunge

She did it!

Hill ready for his wave ride - so much fun!

Wave jumping on a much calmer beach day

Cutest wee one ever

Digging to China

The entire crew digging and building sand castles 

Taking a snack break

Running in the surf

Admiring all the fish at Wolf Bay/Zeke's

Quick family pic

Fun in early morning tidal pools

Pai hard at work

Pool fun under the tent

Post-nap popsicles - works every time!

The crew minus David
Me and my best girls - photo by CE Cain