Friday, October 17, 2014

My number 2 is 4!!

We had such a great time celebrating Mark's 4th birthday last month! 
Grammy and Papa even drove all the way up from SC to celebrate with us and see our new place.
We hosted a crazy party and invited everyone we know in VA (2 families)!
There were Star Wars cupcakes!
Handsome birthday boy!
Handsome birthday brother!
So many cool new gifts!
One of his favorite new gifts was his super cool new play kitchen.
Let's just say: "Some assembly required" I really thought at one point they were going to have to tile the back splash.

It took Scott and Papa (who are both super handy) over 3 hours to put it together!
Master chef in training! So far, he's mastered the fried egg, chicken leg, and 2 pieces of broccoli. (asking for more food for Christmas!) :-)
New scooter!
New helmet!
Muppets Most Wanted!
Birthday boy quickly mastered his scooter!

Mark Nathan, somehow, your blog post is always late, and your birthday party is never as cool. But, I hope you know that Mom and Dad love you so much and we are so proud of you!  I love how you love to help and how you never are stingy with your snuggles. I love your independence and fearlessness. I love your passionate temper and your quick forgiveness. I know that your curiosity and your desire for learning will take you far in life.  None of us would be the same without you in our family. You are my joy. You make being a mom fun. I know you are going to be a super big brother and will be the glue that holds your siblings close. Happy 4th Birthday, Big Boy! Many more!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Keaton started school the Tuesday after Labor Day, so we were very thankful for the extra long summer! He is attending Belmont School which is literally right around the corner from our house. I can't believe this boy is in 1st grade already! Keaton is my home-body, and has a hard time with the LONG DAYS (8:20-3:00). But, he's doing great in 1st grade so far "exceeding beyond his grade level" (as his teacher put it). He's even started riding the bus, which will be so convenient once baby sister arrives!

Mark had to wait two agonizing weeks to start preschool after Keaton! Mark is attending St. Matthew's Lutheran Day School on Tuesdays and Thursdays, half-day. He loves it and would really prefer to go more than 2 days/week, but his mama can't bear to be away from him for more than 2 days each week! Apart from catching every single virus/sickness that VA has to offer (which has led to more than one sick day), he's doing great at school so far! Growing up too fast!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A long road trip and new digs

Finally after many weeks of waiting, it was time to hop in the new van and make the long trip from OK to VA to see Daddy and our new home! It worked out well that we have family at the halfway point in Indiana. It was fun to stop and stay a couple of nights with them and break up our trip.
Me and my cousin, Laura.We are a year apart and have always been close. I love that we can always pick up right where we left off even when we haven't seen each other in a long time. She has precious 15 month old twins - Tyler and Savannah.
Uncle Ben took the boys for rides in his tractor.
I had to stop on the side of the road to take pictures of the corn! It was huge and so green!
Finally 10 more short hours later, we made it to our new house in Woodbridge, VA!
Boy, were we happy to see this guy!
Our new home is in the Belmont Bay community of Woodbridge, VA. It sits right on a marina on the Occoquan River. We love walking down to see the boats!  Sidenote: every now and then, Keaton decides he's going to try out a new smile. You'll notice he looks like he's just had his wisdom teeth removed in most of these pictures. I wish he'd stick to the same handsome smile and change his "JAWS" shirt every once in awhile...
Hanging out in Daddy's truck!
After living in Hawaii for 4 years, I love that Scott found us a place where we can still see the water everyday.
We had a few weeks to relax and hang out at home before school started. What kinds of things do you do to entertain yourself when all of your toys are still making their way across the country from Hawaii?
Lollypop sword fights!
Visiting Daddy's new workplace at the Naval History and Heritage Command
Checking out the US Naval History Museum. Teaser alert: it was here that we finally decided on a name for baby sister!   
lots of coloring
Exploring our new town. They are admiring what we like to call "the big pencil" or "the Washington mommy-ment"

The boys surprised me how much they loved walking around the National Mall. Keaton: "It's like the zoo with no animals but even more AWESOME!"
My other favorite Keaton quote from the evening: Me: "Keaton, do you know who lives in the white house? The president!" Keaton: "But, I thought all the presidents were dead?"

The new World War II monument is really amazing!

Before we knew it, Labor Day was upon us.
One last hop into the pool and summer was over...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summer in the country

We spent the month of July with my parents in Oklahoma. Forget Hawaii, my boys think that Oklahoma is paradise! There are wide open spaces to explore, grandparents, aunts & uncles that spoil nonstop, cousins everywhere, swimming pool, snakes, frogs, squirrels, dogs, sandbox, Gator rides, Cocoa puffs for breakfast, freezer full of ice cream... can you understand why they think this?

Here are some highlights:
the annual "ice cream pic"
Tomatoes from Brumbra's garden! Mark loves helping in the garden.
Summertime watermelon!
Oklahoma bugs!
I absolutely love this picture. Having a crazy fun time with our friend, Noah.
This summer was unseasonably cool in Oklahoma, but this did not keep my boys from enjoying the pool every day!
More than one trip to Kiddie Park!
Beautiful downtown B'ville
My 93 year old grandmother decided that she wanted to take the kids on a picnic one day, so she came and picked them up in the Gator and off they went. I wasn't invited, so I have no pictures. From what I gathered, there was sweet tea, marshmallows, carrots, cheese & crackers, and a special rendition of "Peter Rabbit" told by Grandmother. When I looked closely in this picture, I realized that she is wearing my favorite Kate Spade sunglasses that I've been looking everywhere for! I texted my mom about it, and she says, "Oh yes, I told her they were yours and she said she didn't care, she liked them." Oh well...
Helping Brumbra in the kitchen...
Beautiful mornings...
Mark and his Pepper dog! I love how Pepper is smiling in this picture.
Adrian celebrated his 4th birthday while we were there - at Chuck E Cheese of course!
 One of our favorite things to do when we are in OK is to visit the Safari Zoological Park in Caney. It's better than any zoo you'll ever visit, trust me! Talk about close encounters!
Hanging out with the Bermese python.
Since we sold both of our cars in Hawaii, I bought a new van while we were there. I call it my "mainland mommymobile!" And I love it. LOVE. IT.
 Once I had wheels, Lisa and I took the kids on a road trip to Texas to visit Meg and her boys. 

Keaton and Mark think that William, Hudson, and Crew are their TX cousins. I refuse to correct them. :-)
Mark and Crew are about 13 months apart. This was the first year that they were able to really play together. They were buddies!
And wore each other out...
Good ole Abby-Doo
My mom's crazy-early pumpkin harvest from her garden. Jack-o-lanterns in July, anyone?
Grandmother's roses
More ice cream and cousins. Mark and Adrian are only a month apart. They were inseparable!
Brumbra in her element!
The cooler weather made my mom's garden exceptionally beautiful this year!
This was our last night in Oklahoma. That little boy/man who is towering over me to my left was my ring bearer 11 years ago. He's driving now. I'm old. Sniff. sniff.
 So many amazing memories made!