A Purple Party

Lily turned FOUR yesterday and we celebrated with a purple party!  We’ve been asking her for the last month what kind of party she wanted and her answer was always “a purple party!”  So we ran with the purple theme.

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We had purple kool-aid, plates, centerpieces and of course, a purple cake!  Although Lily thought it was pink.  That’s her other favorite color, so it worked out well!

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She was so excited to open her presents this year.  Carson also wanted to get in on the action, so I can imagine that Christmas morning is going to be total chaos!

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One of her gifts was a pink princess castle, which she loved.  Carson was also obsessed with it and rolled it around the living room while he was in it.  He looked like a little hamster!

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By the end of present time, Lily was wearing her new Elsa dress and jewelry, her princess crown and wand and her painting apron.  I’d say it was a successful party!

Happy Birthday, Lily Bug!  I can’t believe we’ve already had you for four years.

Weekend in Chattanooga

Nick and I finally got to celebrate our 5th anniversary this weekend!  Yes, the one that was in May.  We aren’t very prompt people!

We drove to Chattanooga on Friday and Carson got to spend the weekend with Gigi.  I don’t even think he missed us because he’s so attached to his Gigi!

We stayed at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and while the main lobby is gorgeous, the hotel buildings look like a Russian jail.  We were laughing when we pulled up to our building about how our weekend was off to a good start!

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On Saturday morning, we went to breakfast at Aretha Frankenstein’s after my cousins told us it’s one of their favorite places to eat.  I was pretty sure the GPS was sending us to some random location as we drove back into a neighborhood, but the restaurant is in an old house near UTC’s campus.  Since calories aren’t important on vacation, I splurged on a Belgian waffle and bacon.

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It was delicious.  I considered licking my plate to get any remaining crumbs.

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After breakfast, we walked around at the Riverwalk and checked out the shops on Frazier Avenue.  There was a college rowing competition that people were watching from the bridge and runners and bikers were constantly passing us.  It reminded me of being back in D.C. with all the outdoor activity!

image copyEven though we just had breakfast, Nick knew that I would want ice cream and suggested we stop at Clumpie’s.  It’s a local ice cream shop and I’ve rated their ice cream in my top 5.  And I’ve also checked their website and they ship ice cream.  Ice cream might be my love language!

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We spent the rest of the day shopping around and ate dinner at Big River Grille.  We had no definite plans and just took it easy.  Nick looked at me once and said, “Is this how life used to be-no responsibility?!”  We definitely didn’t realize how easy life was when it was just us taking care of a dog.  Spending your days and weekends chasing around a toddler is slightly different!

Chattanooga is such a pretty town and has a good feel of both city and small town.  We were almost transferred there when we ended up back in Knoxville in 2012, but I’ve told Nick that I would be completely happy if they ever needed him to work there.  We will be going back!

Two Little Pumpkins

We took two little pumpkins to Oakes Farm last weekend!  It didn’t really feel like fall since it was 80+ degrees, but it was such a fun day.

I mean, doesn’t Carson just look like he is LOVING it in this picture?!  I’ve learned to just accept that if he’s looking at the camera, it’s a success.

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Despite the grump face, he had a great time. Carson and Lily spent the day picking pumpkins, sliding, petting animals and riding tractors and they had a blast!  Gigi even took a turn on the slide…I just don’t think she expected that she would go flying down!!

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Carson had fun riding the tractor with Dad, but it was Nick who said, “we are getting one of these!”  I fully expect an enormous Amazon package to arrive with a tractor inside.

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Lily needed a little help from Gigi because her short little legs didn’t quite reach the pedals, even on the toddler tractor!

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We took a covered wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch.  Carson was trying to test his strength and pick up all the pumpkins!  The kids blended in with their UT orange on, but we had to support the Vols on game day!

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Carson’s favorite part of the day had to be the corn bucket.  He was dumping corn on Gigi and thought it was hilarious.

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Carson spotted Nick walking back over to us and was so excited!  He yells, “Daddddyyy!” in the sweetest little voice.

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Lily and Carson had so much fun while we were there and we thought they would be passed out the minute we got in the car.  Nope, they were laughing the entire way home and spent the next few hours chasing each other around the living room.  The adults had a great time too, but we were all ready for a nap when we got home!

Sand and Sunshine

We spent Labor Day week on the beach at Hilton Head.  I’m not going to lie, Nick and I were both nervous about taking our first vacation with Carson.  We definitely didn’t spend our days laying on the beach and reading like we used to, but we had SO much fun!  After a few minutes of not liking the water, he decided that he loved the sand and waves and spent the entire week digging and “swimming.”

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Lucky for us, Mom came along and helped chase our busy little guy around all day.  He loved taking wagon rides on the beach and waving at the birds.  He would normally be asleep when Mom wheeled him back and took a nap under the umbrella.

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Carson loved digging in the sand and thought it was hilarious when some of it ended up in my hair.  He also liked “throwing” the football with Nick and going on walks with Gigi.  He’s a fan of the beach just like his parents!

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IMG_3602Unfortunately, I had a Crohn’s flare-up and spent most of the week sick, so my plans for morning runs and family bide rides definitely didn’t happen.  I had to take it easy, which was frustrating, but Mom and Nick spent all day entertaining Carson and I played when I could.  They are the best.

We are already planning another trip for next year!

Our College Graduate

Our family packed up last week and headed to South Carolina so we could watch our baby cousin become a college graduate!  She really isn’t a baby anymore with a fancy Chemistry degree, but we still think of her that way.

We had the BEST time on this trip!  We used to make the same trips every year growing up and would spend a few days at Tracy and Kelly’s house, with everyone sleeping double in beds, on couches or on pallets on the floor.  It felt just like that and we had so much fun. Well, Carson decided he didn’t want to have anything to do with sleeping in the pack and play, but other than that, it was great!

We tried to get a picture of the kids before graduation, but Carson wasn’t being cooperative.

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Lily and Addelyn were so excited to watch Hannah graduate.  On the car ride up, Lily asked a million times if it was time to go to graduation!

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Hannah was on the jumbrotron right at the end of the ceremony.  I loved her expression when she saw herself!

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We had to have a photo shoot once we got back home so we could all get pictures with the college grad!

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232323232-fp93232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv9-;3=ot-2464=96;=;8-=XROQDF-27;5334924249ot1lsiThis might be my favorite picture. Brandi used to carry Hannah around when she was a baby, so they decided to recreate some photos. When Hannah jumped on Brandi, we were all waiting for them to crash on the ground, but Brandi held up!!

Hannah Bannah, we are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what you do next!!

One, Two, Three, Jump!

A local gymnastics gym offers an open play time during the week for $5, so Kayla and I loaded the kids up to play last week.

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We pack those babies in so we can ride together and have adult time talking about serious issues, such as Bachelor in Paradise or Mistresses.

Asher will see Carson and say, “Hi Car-son!”  It’s so cute.  He does pretty well with Lauren, but it sounds more like Lawnen, like Lily used to say.  I have a hard name to pronounce!

Asher has been there before, so he was off and running as soon as we walked in.  Carson was staying pretty close to me and checking it all out, and then he was off too.  They had a blast “jumping” on the trampoline, swinging on the bars and going up and down the mats.

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The absolute favorite had to be the foam pit.  I jumped in with them and had them chase me.  Asher would yell “help” when he started sinking in.  I was surprised that Carson actually could crawl through it-my baby is growing up on me!

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Kayla started throwing them in the pit and they loved this.  I’m pretty sure we got a workout just as much as they did!

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I got some snuggle time with Maeve while she was throwing the wild monkeys in.  Doesn’t she take a great selfie already?!

We took the kids to McAlister’s after they played and Carson and Asher ate and drank like they hadn’t had anything all day.  We will definitely be going back.  For $5, they had a great time, ate a great lunch and took a fantastic nap.  Success!