Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nine Months?

Where has the time gone? I can't believe my little boy is nine months old today! I'll share a note to Jack.

Dearest Jack,
You are nine months old today! Some days you still seem so new. Like when I'm not sure how much food you should be eating or if you're getting enough vegetables. Other days I can't remember life before you. Like when my first thought before leaving the house is always to smell your bottom. Gross, right?

It's absolutely crazy to think that you've been apart of our lives for nine months plus! You've actually been a very real part of our lives ever since we learned you were on the way, which was not quite a year and half ago. It was right after daddy's 30th birthday. Yes, your father and I were once in our 30s. I imagine by the time you read this you'll have no idea we could once have been so young!

As I've mentioned in previous letters to you, you've been quite a joy from day one and you continue to entertain us! We love everything about you (okay, except the whining when your need/want is undetermined). We love your scrunchy face and the fact that you love to blow raspberries to pass the time. It leaves quite the glistening ring of spit around your mouth! Your dad loves that sometimes you laugh or grin after passing gas. I think it makes him proud.

Since you were about 3 or 4 months old I've been working on a few signs with you. Mostly the sign for milk. For months you've gotten excited whenever the sign is made, but just last week you showed us the sign a couple of times after we show you. It's been so fascinating to watch you learning.

You're getting super close to crawling and terrorizing the entire house from our knees down. Your dad and I are very excited to see you approaching this neat milestone, but we also love that you pretty much stay put when we leave you on your blanket with toys these days. You can usually get to things by army crawling or rolling, but you haven't quite figured out the most efficient way yet.

You are a true people person. You greet everyone with a smile and often laughter. You attract a lot of smiles and waves wherever you go. I think it's the hair, which is getting a lot longer and lays down a lot better.

I can't believe we only have 3 more months until you turn one. Where has the time gone? One more thing, college football season kicks off tonight and the dawgs play their first game on Saturday. It would be really awesome if you would learn to enjoy football on TV as much as you like your Praise Baby DVD. Thanks!

I love you,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's the difference?

What's the difference in these two pictures? Besides the obivious: one's inside, the other's outside, one's at our house, the other's at the beach.

Stumped? Josh trimmed Jack's hair on the sides Saturday night. Can you believe he's old enough for a little haircut. Josh did the deed while I was out picking up dinner and movie once I returned from mine and Jack's quick trip to Rome. He had fun playing with his Grandmommy and Grandaddy and Aunt Kristy and Molly. Anyway, I came back and Josh said "you haven't noticed what we did while you were gone." Then, he called Jack to turn toward us and I spotted it right away. I couldn't believe it. He looks so much more like a little boy now. Anyway, it's not completely even since he was doing it alone and trying not to cut Jack's ear off. Thought you all would want to see the pictures!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jack's Dedication & Sean's Birthday

Our first full day back home was Jack's Dedication at church. We were lucky to have our family and friends join us for the special occasion. Our wonderful friends, the Bates, prepared a mess of food for us to share with everyone. The lasagna, alfredo and spaghetti met rave reviews, Tim & Joni! Thanks again, guys!

For dessert, we had birthday cake to celebrate our nephew's 8th birthday. It was fun to have everyone help him celebrate his special day too! He was very excited about the necklace from the beach and the net gun we gave him. He loved the UGA shirt my parents brought and was looking forward to breaking in RockBand, which he received from his grandparents (Josh's mom & dad). It was a busy day, but that evening as Josh and I ate our leftovers we talked about how perfect it was to have everyone together.

Busy Beach Bums

Not sure anyone has ever used the words busy and beach bums in the same sentence, but that's what I feel like we have been for the last several days. Last Tuesday afternoon we left town and headed to St. Simons Island for a few days of relaxation. Jack did okay the first couple of hours in the car, but the last couple of hours was pretty rough! Here's a picture of him enjoying a pickle while Josh and I eat a quick dinner during our road trip. He loves pickles!

We got in and got settled just in time to watch the women's olympics gymnastics coverage to begin. The next morning we set out for a hearty breakfast and had heard some good things about the Fourth of May Cafe in the village. It was great. I had blueberry pancakes. Josh had eggs, sausage and home fries. Jack tried his first grapefruit. It was pretty comical. The day was pretty rainy and cloudy. So, after some driving around, we headed to the pool. As always, Jack enjoyed his swim. Before long another downpour arrived. So, we all did some napping, reading and more olympics viewing. Dinner was at Barbara Jean's, which has the best crab cakes ever! It was growing dark once we got back to our condo, but not raining so we took Jack down to see the ocean real quick. It was neat, and his hair was blowing everywhere!

Thursday was still a bit overcast, but decided to introduce Jack to the beach. We started him out in the wet sand then moved him close enough to have a bit of water rise around him. He explored the sand extensively, which included tasting it. He was a little unsure about the ocean and wet sand. Later he tried some drier sand, which still didn't taste all that great. He did enjoy playing with his ball on the beach. In fact, later when we went and had some family pictures made he got pretty cranky since his afternoon nap was so short (I just had to go to the Bailey Boys store!). Anyway, the ball was the only thing that cheered him up. You can look at the whole mess of photos from our sitting (but, I'll warn you there are a quite a few!) Needless to say, the ball appears in several photos. Later at dinner, Jack wailed through our entire meal...not a happy boy!

Friday was our final full day at the beach before heading home and it was great! We started by renting bikes in the morning and touring the south end of the island. We biked to the lighthouse, village and Avenue of Oaks. It was great fun, although Jack didn't enjoy getting in and out of the seat on the bike. He didn't mind the ride too fact on the way back to our condo he fell asleep on the bike. I'm not sure how this was even remotely comfortable.

Later we headed back to the beach for our final afternoon. The sun was finally out, but the breeze kept us comfortable. Jack just played with his ball most of the time, but did enjoy watching Josh chase a crab. We went to Chelsea for dinner. They consider themselves casual gourmet, and Josh and I agreed. It was comfortable casual dress (the waiters even wore shorts), but the food was 4-star. Josh tried the crab and/or shrimp bisque just about everywhere we dined and this was the best of the week! He had mahi mahi and I had salmon. It was fantastic...even our salads were great! It was a perfect way to end our trip! On Saturday we got up early and traveled back. Jack did a little better on the trip back. We got back in time to get started on the mound of laundry and get Jack off island time!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another year gone...

Well, today's my 29th birthday. I'm not really sure how to feel...proud that I'm a young and vibrant 29-year-old, sad that my 20s are almost behind me, exhilarated that the best is yet to come or a combination of all of the above.

I have to say, I guess I have a lot to proud of:
  • FAMILY...I have a wonderful family. I couldn't be more lucky to have found a wonderful, loving and hilarious companion in Josh, and I couldn't have imagined such a joyful, precious and entertaining child than Jack. I was also blessed with a fabulous set of parents who taught me so much and are such a huge reason I am what I am these days. I'm incredibly proud to have such a great and caring big brother and sweet sister-in-law. My baby sister, who's not so much a baby anymore, continues to amaze me with all she accomplishes. I couldn't leave out my wonderful grandparents, who make me proud every time I think about all they've made for not only me, but also my parents.
  • EDUCATION...I graduated from high school and college. For anyone oblivious to my fanatical attitude each fall, I graduate from the University of Georgia. When I hear the folks talking about how tough it is to get in to UGA and their grades and scores, it makes me proud to have graduated from such a great college, with lots of help and support from those listed above!
  • CAREER...While I'm currently on a hiatus from what most would classify as a career, I enjoyed several years in a couple of different positions in the Public Relations & Marketing fields. I'm proud of the things I was able to accomplish with the organizations for which I worked. Although, I'm doing some things here and there, my full-time job these days is one I'm most proud of...the role of mom!

I guess I have a few things to be sad about:

  • FAMILY...I have some family members that have passed on during my 29 years. Although I have wonderful memories of each of them, it saddens me to think Jack will only get to hear stories rather than feel hugs and kisses from each.
  • EDUCATION...I have to admit, my final semester of college I couldn't wait to graduate. Most of that probably had to do with the fact that I had just gotten engaged to my lovely husband and was ready to be working, married and begin our life together. Now, I think about how great college was! The two years that Josh and I were both in Athens were some of the most fun times. How sad that they are behind us, right? Don't get me wrong, college is hard work, but it is also a lot of carefree fun with friends.
  • CAREER...I was sad to leave behind my last job. The college I worked for was great and my colleagues the best. I had accomplished a lot there and had to leave pieces of my hard work behind.

Of course, I have a few things to be exhilarated about:

  • FAMILY...In just 8 short months, I've watched a tiny, helpless baby become a little personality with funny faces and glimpses of independence. It's exciting to have the privilege to watch Jack grow up. It's happening so fast already, but there's so much to look forward to!
  • EDUCATION...I'm pretty sure I'm done with the education stuff for a while, at least higher ed. Don't get me wrong, I'm learning new things everyday, but hopefully no more tuition (at least not for, Jack? That's another story). It will also be exhilarating to one day pay off all student loans (mostly Josh's). It's also great to be able to have the opportunity to learn through reading and interacting with others.
  • CAREER...Who knows what the future holds for me and my career? Will I return to a full-time job? The uncertainty is thrilling, right?

So, I guess if you ask me how does it feel to be another year older, I'd have to say I feel proud, sad and exhilarated...all at the same time!

Oh, and don't worry I'll be back to posting cute and funny stories about the kid soon enough. Hope this photo-less blog wasn't too boring!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Snoozing away

As I write this post, the little man is downstairs in the pack 'n play asleep, which is not so unsual because he takes naps each day. Today, however, we've been out and about all morning and didn't get a good long morning snooze, so I wasn't sure if he'd take a good afternoon nap or be a crab all afternoon. He was asleep when we got home about an hour ago. I got him out of the car and put him right in his pack 'n play to try to get him to go back down. I just went to check in on him again, since he's been so quiet and found him in this hilarious position. Anyway, I thought it was so funny that I tip toed out and grabbed the camera. I know it's hard to see clearly through the netting in one photo, but you can get the drift!

Last night, we were walking around in the yard and I caught a glimpse of how pretty the sky was. It was just after sunset and the sky was that beautiful purple and pink color, and we could see the mountains in the distance. We have such a lovely view from the backyard that I often forget and take it for granted. Anyway, I snapped a couple of pictures, although they don't quite do it justice. We certainly are blessed to live in not only a friendly community, but a beautiful one as well.

Today Jack and I went to the park to meet some friends from MOPS and then ran a couple of errands before having lunch with some friends to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Merideth, Tate & Brit; Andrea & Andrew; and Missy & Trevor helped me celebrate. They surprised me with balloons and cupcakes. Here's a funny photo! This was probably before Jack stuck his finger in the cupcake. Remember, he was due for a nap! Instead of licking off the yummy frosting he just cried about it...poor kid's got a lot to learn!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Ok, Ok...I realize that I've been back from Honduras for over two weeks and I'm only just now getting around to blogging about the medical missions trip. It was amazing. I had a good time with some great people. Our team of 6 physicians saw more than 1500 patients in 5 days.

What I learned:

1) Honduras is a beautiful country (as the picture adequately portrays). If we can get the infrastructure improved a bit, I'm ready to retire there.

2) I learned and relearned humility. I've told this story several times since being back, but I cannot get out of my mind an elderly woman in her 80's who walked through mountainous terrain for 6 hours overnight to get to where our clinic was to be held. Upon arriving, she went to the end of the line and waited patiently for 5 hours until it was her turn to see a physician. Instead of a complaint, she cried and thanked us for being there - a pretty humbling experience.

3) I learned lessons regarding a heart of servitude for my return home.

4) I learned what true need and poverty are.

5) Finally, I learned that the word 'nudo' in spanish is not what you may think it means. 'Presentacion nudo' was a sign posted in one of the classrooms where we held clinic one day. When everyone had been seen for the day, I thought it would be funny to live up to the sign on the wall. Unfortunately, I later discovered that 'nudo' is the spanish word for 'knot.' Some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame

Sunday was Jack's first outing to the big ballpark. To celebrate my big brother's birthday with all the family, my sister-in-law suggested we all go to a Braves game. Since they weren't playing in town last weekend, we went this weekend. Despite the scorching heat, it was great fun. Jack did pretty well for the first half of the game, then mom took him into the shade for a few innings. He was a trooper.

It was fun to have the whole clan together. Here's a picture of us all, just before the end of the game, which the Braves won 5-0 over the Brewers.

Again, sorry for the links...couldn't post photos through Blogger.

At the Lake with the Girls

Friday and Saturday, our MOPS Steering Team had their retreat at Lake Burton. Since it was all day Friday and part of Saturday, I took Jack along. As usual, he was pretty laid back and enjoyed sitting in the floor playing with Mallory, Sarah's one-year-old, while the ladies tackled the agenda. They entertaining themselves. These two were so well behaved.

After dinner we had a chance to get out on the lake. I convinced Joni into tubing with me. She had never been before. She was pretty reluctant, but had a wonderful time once we got going. She even wished we could go faster. Jack enjoyed the boat ride. Although we must have been pretty boring, because he fell asleep while Joni and I were on the tube! As usual, there are lots more pictures

Sorry for all the hyperlinks...Blogger wouldn't let me upload any photos!