Tuesday, August 30, 2011

saturday fun

On Saturday, we had a visit from Grandmommy & Grandaddy Garrett. We were excited to have the opportunity to let them experience the Family Fun Fest that evening with the boys. This is the third year we've loaded up and soaked up the fun and basked in our sweat to have a little fun with the little ones.

A little golf

even Sam took a whack at it...

the huge cardboard box maze

this boy has moves...

little brother's puppy tatoo. what a tough guy!

checking out where the firemen ride...and drink lots of 2-liter diet coke apparently

On the way up in the cherry picker

Way up there

What a ride!

I only wear orange on Fridays

Friday night kicked off another season of high school football in the 'Sham, and we were thrilled to begin our evening tailgating with friends before the game. As usual, the boys enjoyed running wild on the practice field and dreaming of their future glory days, I'm sure.

Put me in, Coach!

Best news is the Raiders hung on to win. What a great way to start the year. My sweet friend and fellow blogger is a bit superstitious and insists that we'll have to tailgate before every home game now. April, I think you forgot about one of the most important ingredients to that Raider victory...

The ceremonial "soaking of the tree!"

Monday, August 29, 2011


So, the first day back at preschool was last Tuesday. Here's our "First Day" pic:

I know you're jealous of my awesome memory capturing abilities.

Overall, everyone had a great day. I think everyone's favorite part though was playing outside before bedtime.

Humore me...reassure me it will be a long while before his feet touch the ground.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All in a day's work

It's no piece of cake being at home with two young boys, but we do our best to make it fun. I've yet to master the art to getting it all done. Although, I'm hoping since preschool started today, I'll have a fighting chance to at least have my kitchen floor stay clean for longer than 4 hours.

Sometimes I get little glimpses into God's plan for my life. Like yesterday when I sat in the floor and put together a train track so two boys could watch a motorized train go round and round. Or anytime I stop laundering, sweeping, emailing or fixing juice long enough to sit down and read a book with a sweet listener in my lap.

As I sat there assembling that train track I thought, "this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now! How many other folks can count train track assembly among their list of duties at work?" Granted, there are probably a few who are overjoyed train track assembly isn't in their job responsibilities.

Of course, along with the fun of playing "engineer" is the delight of playing referee between two boys who must have the same exact Lightning McQueen even though there are at least three others just like it. There is the joy of doling out punishments for pushing or hair pulling. There are the highly anticipated trips to the grocery store with impatient toddlers. Not to mention the glamorous diaper changing, snotty nose wiping, cleaning soured milk from sippy cups and scraping dried oatmeal from a myriad of locations.

So, yeah, it's no walk in the park, but the truth is we get to go to the park! Pretty much whenever we want to! In this business, the benefits outweigh the negatives. Between storytime at the library and tying on our superhero capes, it's all in a day's work!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quick Q & A

Q: What's the best way to make a morning in the park with friends even better?

Sam enjoyed sharing brother's popsicle

And some of Amelia's too...
A: Add popsicles, of course!

Q: Where is the perfect place to have a sweet reward for your little ones after their exhausting photo session?

A: A Krispy Kreme with the "HOT" sign on!

Q: What is a rock waterfall with no water?

A: The perfect "mountain" for boys to climb as they plan to conquer the world and fight bad guys (with a few juice breaks here and there)

Friday, August 19, 2011

photo friday!

I think I mentioned we got to see our favorite photographer this week. Our goal was to record that sweet grin on our now 18-month-old Sam. As always, we weren't disappointed. Get a sneak peek of the images at Sue Ann's Blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some words from Pop (5th installment)

As I mentioned previously, last Thursday marked my 32nd birthday. My sweet dad shared this column with me this weekend. It ran in the August 11th edition of The Oconee Enterprise. For my regular readers, this is a somewhat regular feature here on the blog. I've also been asked to issue kleenex alerts before proceeding with most of my dad's pieces, but I don't think this one is that tear-inducing. But, if you are looking for one that is...read one of his others here. Or there's always this one. And these two about Sam and Jack.

Aug. 11 is Pretty Significant Day

In the grand scheme of things, Aug. 11 is significant as 811 day, when utility companies encourage people to call 811 before digging in their yards with mechanized equipment.

But on a personal level, Aug. 11 has been a pretty big day.

It was on Aug. 11, 1969, that I embarked upon a professional career in journalism, starting as a sportswriter.

My first story was about the Athens American Legion baseball team losing in the state finals. I did not go to the game. I talked to the coach, who provided details.

Among those details, Jimmy Wilkes dropped a fly ball in center field at a key moment. I received a phone call later from his father Dupree Wilkes, a fine fellow who had coached me briefly in Little League baseball, informing me that his son had not dropped the ball, but that the umpire had ruled that he trapped it.

Happily, young Jimmy Wilkes was unscarred by the incident, and he rose to a rank of significance in the armed forces, the Air Force if I am not mistaken. If I am wrong, someone will call.

But it was 10 years later that Aug. 11 took on significance of the highest order. Late that Saturday morning, my bride Jan gave birth to our second child.

"You've got a sissy little girl," announced the baby doc.

We had children back in the dark ages before routine ultrasound exams revealed the sex. And so Laura Marie Giles was born.

It sounds like merely the musings of a proud papa, but I honestly have never seen a prettier baby. She had a head of thick, black hair, a smooth complexion and a healthy skin tone.

Well, she's still as pretty and is now the blissfully wed wife of Joshua Garrett, and mother of two boys, Jack and Sam.

Looking back over the years of my professional career, I can point to columns where I wrote about her siblings, John and Emily. If I wrote about Laura, it escapes me.

There was that one column where she was a JV cheerleader at a Cedar Shoals football game. It was the first and last time I ever embedded a message in a column, and today is the first time I have revealed that fact. Taking the first letter of each paragraph, the message read, "Laura Giles was great."

She was never a great athlete, but she was a determined participant. She still holds the family record for most points scored in a high school basketball game.

She became a Bulldog at UGA, where like me she earned a degree in journalism. Of my three offspring, she looks the most like me, and she was most interested in writing.

Her writing now is mostly reserved for her blog, Garrett News, where you can keep up with her family. Most of her energies are spent on her boys, Josh included, and it is a joy to see her so happy.

Aug. 11. When you dig deep into the heart of Blake Giles, what stands out is not so much that first day on the job, but that "sissy little girl."

Blake Giles is the editor for The Oconee Enterprise. Opinions expressed are those of the writer.

18 and enjoying the ride?

Today marks 18 months, we've been a family of four. Exactly 18 months ago today, we welcomed Sam into our lives. Has it really been that long?? Although he's constantly in motion, always striving to keep up with (and often times out-do) big brother, I still think he's just a baby. Reality is sinking in that he's getting to be a big boy. We'll check in on his stats next week at the pediatrician, and we just had a visit with our favorite photographer last night in Athens. Those adorable snapshots are the closest thing I've found to freezing time. Since we can't push pause, we'll just hang on and enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

m is for moooo & milk!

Last Monday the boys and I headed down to Braselton to meet some friends of ours for some fun at the Mayfield dairy. My best friend from high school lives nearby. She has a three-year-old as well and is expecting her second child in December. Although they are less frequent than we'd like, we enjoy every chance we have to get together. It had been almost a year since our last playdate in October!

We enjoyed lunch together beforehand, where the kids were a bit wild. Then went to tour the Mayfield operations. Maybe still a bit over the head of three-year-olds, they seemed to enjoy seeing the big milk trucks and milking Bessie.

Checking out Bessie

Jack surveying the scene

Evelyn takes a turn

What is this thing?

Sam takes his try

"I will figure out how this thing works..."


So, last week I celebrated the third anniversary of my 29th birthday. Yep, that magic 32. I like to think I'm pretty low maintenance and pretty non-demanding when it comes to birthday celebrations. But since my husband had plans to spend most of his weekend with an old friend from residency and their fathers at the PGA Championships in Atlanta, I think he felt like my birthday would be overshadowed by the arrival of our houseguests. So, I had a few exciting and unexpected surprises.

The boys and I joined friends for swimming, and Andrea (one of my sweetest girlfriends) brought a chocolate chip cookie cake for us to share. The kids took delight in singing and the sweet stuff was the perfect motivation to get the kids out of the water and ready for naps! Thanks, girls!

Soon after we arrived home, the doorbell rang. Jack and I answered the door to find flowers! Josh (and the boys) had sent a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers. A lot of girls say that flowers are a waste of money or they die too quickly, but I think they have such a way of brightening your day! I always loved getting flowers delivered when I was working in an office setting, since it lets your coworkers know you have an incredible hubby! Well, now, my boys know they have an incredibly thoughtful daddy!

With company arriving at some point that evening, we had planned on staying in. I was perfectly fine with a fun night at home as long as I didn't have to cook. I figured we'd just warm up leftovers. But Josh had other plans. He brought home a caterer! Yes, I heard another voice when he walked in from work and discovered a stranger in my kitchen. A stranger who could cook! We enjoyed fresh spinach salad with homemade dressing, chicken florentine, wild rice, asparagus and a yummy white chocolate mousse pie. And, she cleaned up too!! It was such a treat to spend time enjoying the boys and catching up while someone else prepared our dinner. Josh seemed pretty tickled that he'd managed to surprise me. I love surprises, and he sure pulled off a pretty good one!

On Saturday, I met several girlfriends to see The Help. It was full of laughter, a few tears and stuck pretty close to the incredibly gripping book. Afterwards we stuck with the sixties theme and had dinner and shakes at Fenders, a local diner. After serving as hostess to a few extra it was nice to get a break from the duties at Hotel Garrett for a few hours. Thirty-two aint so bad, in fact it's been one of the best birthdays ever.

Monday, August 15, 2011

back in the swing

Even though it's still in the 90s most days, summer is drawing to an end and school begins very soon. With the arrival of school comes the start to our new session of Community Bible Study. I'm super excited about our study on the book of Luke. Our 30+ week study on Genesis last year was such a blessing.

Our group meets on Monday nights, which can be somewhat of a challenge. You see, Josh works in the emergency room every. monday. night. He usually checks in around 7:30. Bible study begins at 7. Childcare is not typically provided. I was so thankful when God lead a very sweet high schooler from the neighborhood to our family. Every Monday night she walked over to our house to watch the boys while I attended CBS. It was a great fit for us. The boys love her, and after I weaned Sam, she would even put him to bed for me each week.

Unfortunately, it made for a rather hectic Monday night schedule. Josh usually arrived home to a nearly finished dinner, which was typically something easy and super fast. We'd have about an hour to eat, spend time together and get him off to work just before the sitter arrived. Needless to say, our Monday nights have been so much more leisurely this summer. Dinner can wait until 6:00! The boys have more time to play with daddy...although it makes goodbye harder with no talk of an arriving sitter.

So, as much as I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things next week when our CBS kicks off, I know it will be a return to our crazy and hectic Monday nights. Thankfully, God has always rewarded me and blessed me with my participation in CBS. It has always felt worth it to be there, and not just for the adult conversation, although that helps. I'm excited to see what He has in store for me this year. I'm ready to embrace the insanity that will be my Monday nights.

america's favorite cookie

A week or so ago, we were at the grocery store. When I paused our shopping cart to pick up milk, Jack noticed a photograph of someone dipping an Oreo in a big glass of milk on display. He looked at me in amazement. "Do some people put their cookie in their milk?"

I admit I felt a little guilty, that I hadn't yet shared this American past time with my son. So, I promised him he could try it after lunch. He was a natural. I'm pretty sure it lived up to his expectations.

fun in the sun

Sam found a perfect hiding spot
Several days ago we spent our Saturday with family on Lake Lanier. It was a birthday celebration of sorts for me and my brother. It was a cloudy day, which cooled it down a bit. The one rain shower that moved through happened to do so while we were docked for lunch. We spent most of our day cruising in the pontoon boat and introducing Jack to tubing. I'm pretty sure he's hooked.

His first go round was alongside dad. He kept yelling, "go faster!" And "don't slow down!"

Finally he agreed to take a break. After lunch, my brother and sister-in-law decided to take a turn. Jack wasn't as good a spectator as he was participant. He kept yelling (unbeknownst to them): "just fall off!"

Jack was thrilled when they decided they'd had enough. I decided I'd get on the tube with Jack this time, but before we even got that far he announced, "I won't be scared to do it all my by self.*" So, we put him out there alone. Partly because of his lack of weight and our lack of speed he fell off right away. I was afraid he was done. He did seem a little scared floating alone in that big lake, and yelled, "come back" as we circled back around. After swimming to the rope, he said, "I want to get back on, daddy!"

*I still love that he says "all my by self" instead of all by myself.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

like curious george, not george from seinfeld

A couple of weeks ago, our church organized a "mommy & me" trip to Imagine It, the children's museum in Atlanta. In anticipation of our arrival, I tried to explain to Jack where we where headed. He asked if it was a museum like George goes to. And just to make sure I knew he was talking about the cartoon monkey he added, "Like Curious George, not George from Seinfeld."

I assured him that this was the kind of museum where we could touch everything! Jack loved shopping in the market, running the register, loading the grocery truck and milking the cow. Sam was a busy body as well. It was a workout to keep up with the two of them.

this boy likes to shop for groceries!


Sam loved the ability to explore

painting fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

not over yet

When we returned from our vacation a couple of weeks ago on a Thursday, no one was quite ready for the fun to end. So, the next day we trekked down to Atlanta to take in the Georgia Aquarium. We arrived relatively early, but it doesn't take long for that place to get crowded and difficult to maneuver. Josh has been to the aquarium in Chattanooga, and although it can't claim as much tank space as its Atlanta competition, he assured me it was a better aquarium to visit. Overall, the boys had a great time, and I'm really glad I can say I've seen the place....especially the newly added dolphin show. The show itself was pretty corny (way too much singing, broadway showtunes, etc.) The dolphins and their amazing tricks were more than reason enough to suffer through the cheesy song performances.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


One of the days while we were in Asheville a rain storm moved in while we were inside a store. Josh volunteered to go get the car while we waited on the porch of the store. I noticed a wicker chair perfect for two and plopped the boys in while I prepared to fold the stroller and gather our bags. Then, I noticed the cutest brothers I've ever seen.