Saturday, July 21, 2007

happy birthday gracie pea

The saying goes that you should "never look back", but I have only gratefulness as I look over the past three years. Grace is a lively and spunky force in our family. She came into this world with all the drama of an emergency and a NICU stay, but we are incredibly fortunate in her development following all that chaos. It's hard to remember the trauma of her beginning, but wonderful to know her as a delightful little person. Here are a few photos from the early days, year one, year two, and my now three year old. Happy Birthday Grace!

Off the wires and tubes, this is my ten pound baby near the end of her NICU stay:

A month old relaxing in a beanbag by Jordan:

First time at the beach celebrating her first birthday (Tybee Island, GA):

We were on vacation at Disneyworld when Grace celebrated her second birthday:

Running out the door to her first ballet class a few days ago:

She was so thrilled during the whole class. Finally after years of watching older siblings she had her own class to enjoy. Here she is skipping along with the group:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

birthday snapshots

This past weekend we celebrated two family birthdays -- Grace's third birthday and Dave's fortieth. My sister came over with her family and we took the cousin set to Build-A-Bear at the mall to enjoy an adventure. Dave had no idea about his birthday plans...well, except for wondering why there was so much good food in the house. We celebrated with an adult only concert outing to Chastain Park here in Atlanta to see Vince Gill and Amy Grant. I've got so much more to post, but wanted to give you a few snapshots until I am able to catch up.

Here is Grace brushing and blow drying her "MiMi Bear" off:

This is the full set of cousins plus one brave Aunt Julie (my sister) holding Lydia:

My darling niece Lydia giving the Pottery Barn chair her approval:

Two silly girls at lunch (excuse the kiddie cup in the picture...obvious photoshoping needed) -- Grace and Alana. They were born 5 weeks apart.

An excited birthday husband enjoying a laugh with his best friend Hawk and wife Lisa:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

chirp chirp

Dave brought home the artwork from his office walls since they were painting there. Leaned against our family room wall was a photo of the Inner Harbor and skyline of Baltimore. It was given to Dave by his coworkers when we made the move from Maryland to Georgia. It caught Grace's eye on Sunday and she started asking questions.

"Did we live here?"

"Well, we lived there before you were born. William was born there." said Dave

"Oh, I was born in Georgia, right?"

"Yes you were born in Georgia. You were just an egg inside of Mommy when we were in Baltimore." He replied

"An egg???"

"Yes, an egg inside of Mommy's body." He confirmed.

Then Grace turns and looks at me in AMAZEMENT, "You had FEATHERS!?!?"

And after we died laughing Dave replied, "Mommy has those waxed Grace."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

the fourth, fireworks, and firetrucks

Two different days, several different events, but it seems we are carrying out a theme here. I didn't even realize it until I went to share the post. Yesterday was a great 4th of July holiday. On patriotic holidays I always feel privileged to have my own in-house veteran. Makes even the most standard tasks seem patriotic, ya know?

We actually enjoyed a morning and afternoon hanging around the house and doing some chores. Around 2 pm we took the kids swimming and played some elementary marco polo. Most of it involved Dave and I hauling William and Grace around the pool to avoid being caught by their big sister, but it was fun. Our church actually held services outside under a pavilion. We arrived for the picnic part of the gathering around 5:45 and then services started at 6:30. The singing was out of this world. We love it when voices seem to blend perfectly and last night was just one of those times. Our church practices accapella singing for all services and that just seemed even more perfect outdoors. The kids enjoyed playing with everyone and then we drug them away to attend fireworks (Yes, Grace was literally crying to stay with her friends instead of fireworks.) in Roswell. Grace then proceeded to pass out in the car and slept through all the live music. She woke in the midst of the fireworks. The pictures below are from our church gathering. They just finished a new pavilion and playground and it's been a popular place to meet.

We normally go to the Marietta Square for fireworks, but we had a really good experience with the Roswell location last night and may just try it again next year. I had grilled some pork tenderloin with an Alton Brown dry rub on the outside. I had intended the dry rub for some ribs, but all the stores ran out of baby backs around here. I should have thought of that a few weeks ago. We had some killer food anyway so my substitution was a success. What do you cook or grill on Independence Day?

Then, today, we visited a fire station museum near us. It's one of those things you always pass and point out to the kids, but never find the time to visit. The kid enjoyed it immensely. They actually got a personal tour from the firefighters and enjoyed seeing all the old dispatch and fire equipment. True to his engineering spirit, William was touching some controls on the 1940's fire engine and his actions spurred the firefighter say, "Son, touch the wrong valve and we'll have oil and who knows what else oozing out of this old engine. Maybe you shouldn't touch those knobs." Ironically the engine truck had a "please touch" sign on it. Here are the kids on the back of a non-oozing modern day engine. The firemen were very nice to my little crew.

Monday, July 02, 2007

nature never fails to amaze

We were in Alabama this past weekend to visit with my family and deliver my cousin's child back home following her tennis camp. My parents have been working hard in their yard and it really shows. My brother-in-law, Russ, is a professional photographer and he took some beautiful photos which captured the backyard today.