Monday, December 9, 2013

Very Very Thankful!

Our Thanksgiving found us following our normally traditions once again this year...something I just love. I love that we are giving our children traditions that they will be able to look forward to and share with their children. This year we added some new things as well. We spent Thanksgiving watching the parade and packing up for "the vacation house" also known as the timeshare in Williamsburg. We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house with my brother Matthew and Auntie Ann and then we all jumped in the car and headed to Williamsburg to share the long weekend together and relax. 

We got some Black Friday shopping in, enjoyed the outlets, played lots of card games, did arts and crafts, and visited the Yankee Candle factory store where we saw Santa! We had a great time!!

This Thanksgiving weekend led up to my oral exams for my Ph.D. This was the final part of my comprehensive exams which is the end of the degree and means you are done with course work. Once you complete the exams you are declared a Ph.D. candidate and are allowed to work on your dissertation. Everyone failed the exams in the spring and I struggled through the written so I was just a little stressed out :) The oral exams were very difficult and I had to send in more information but I ended up passing so I am very relieved to have this hurdle behind me!

The kids had a blast and I think we all enjoyed spending time together. We look forward to this weekend every year and I'm sure we will enjoy it for years to come!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Festivities

This Halloween fell right in the middle of my comprehensive exams (otherwise known as a week of hell) so we did not get to participate in a lot of activities, but we did have a great time trick or treating. We went to Aunt Amy's house to trick or treat with Rowan and some of Rowan's other cousins in their new neighborhood. The kids all got along great and I had a fantastic time getting away from my desk (i.e. the dining room table covered with papers and textbooks) and exploring the kingdom with my prince and princess!!

Cinderella and Prince Charming this many more times will I get away with matching costumes? Some say this was my last year but we will see :)
Outtakes! I think this picture shows Tanner's personality perfectly!!
My three favorite kiddos! Next year we may have to work on a group theme but I'm a big fan of little Nemo
Tanner was on a mission and not waiting for anyone, but Izabel was nice and patient helping Rowan most of the night!

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Lot Can Change in 10 Years!

Today marks 10 years since Noah and I have been together - and known each other since we started dating almost immediately. It's amazing to look back and see how much our lives have changed. We're lived in four places together, have been through school and different jobs and now have a home and two beautiful children. We are blessed beyond belief and even through all the ups and downs we are incredibly thankful for the last 10 years and we are looking forward to the next 10!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Izzy Bizzy!

Izzy Bizzy is now 6 years old! I know everyone says this and I say it every year but how do I have a 6 year old??? Izzy is certainly an energetic, smart, fun but also serious, independent, sassy, wonderful little girl. She can be very stubborn and at times that is extremely frustrating for her always sometimes patient parents....but I love that she knows who she is and what she is and is not willing to do and will stick to it. This is going to be tough on us for the next 12 years but a wonderful trait for her to have growing up and as an adult. I love that she cannot be persuaded by her friends to do things she doesn't want to do. 

She fights with her brother plenty but at school the only complaint her teacher has is that Izzy talks A LOT! We've been working on ideas to keep her engaged, but she comes by the talking naturally so I'm thinking this will continue to be a problem. She's breezing through her work right now and takes her homework very seriously. I've actually had to take homework away a couple times as punishment. She refuses to wait until later in the week to do her homework and has to do every bit of it the first night of the week...I don't know who she got this lack of procrastination from but it certainly wasn't me!! She's also becoming quite a strong reader. She knows all her sight words and has started to read to me and Tanner at night instead of me reading to them! I love listening to her and seeing her so proud of herself at the end!

Right now she is in love with horses and wants a horse so badly. We decided a riding lesson would be a good place to start and we've set that up for later this month. We'll see how that goes and then decide if we want to set up more for her. She is still going strong in gymnastics and working hard to perfect her cartwheel and splits. She practices all the time and can now do a front flip on the trampoline. She also loves her baby dolls and I think a trip to the American Girl Doll store is going to have to happen soon!!!

Her favorite food is most definitely spaghetti and mac and cheese - the girl loves her carbs! She can still wear a size 3T or 4T in most shirts and dresses but has to wear leggings and boots so you can't tell how short her pants are :) Her favorite color is still pink and she wants to be a teacher (I'm so proud) when she grows up. Puzzles and princesses are still a favorite in our house. She loves Sophia the First. She also likes to play her leapster explorer or apps on the iPad. She is an overall amazing little girl with such an amazing spirit. I love being her mommy and I'm so thankful to the little that made me a mommy. We couldn't love her more!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Izzy's 6th Birthday Party and Some Picture Updates!

Over the weekend we had Izabel's 6th Birthday Party! Her official birthday post will hopefully come tomorrow. She had her party at gymnastics again and had a great time. Since her new school is so far away we did not have a lot of people come from her class but some of her friends came and then some family friends as well. Her best friend since she was 3, Sadie, joined us as well and Izabel was so excited to see her! They are adorable together and we need to do a better job of planning some play dates. We are hopeful that Izabel will have Sadie's mom for first grade next year at our neighborhood school so that will help :)

Izabel got a lot of amazing gifts and we are very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. We had a great weekend together! After the party we went to dinner at Friendly's since Noah will not be able to be here for Izzy's actual birthday dinner. 

I also added some pictures from the past couple weeks. October is another super busy month but my comprehensive exams for my Ph.D. are at the end of the month so I will be able to breathe easier when this month is over! 

Noah and I have been having a great time at ODU football games! We are 4-2 right now. Go Monarchs!

The kids have been spending a lot of time in the car going back and forth to school. They read in the mornings and sleep the whole way home! Their school is doing the million minute challenge so we have been reading a lot more than normal and loving it! Tanner's favorite book right now is Wacky Wednesday and Izabel loves anything with a princess :) Izabel has finally started getting some real homework and takes it very seriously!

They made self-portraits at school which I adore and can't wait to hang them up at home. They have also been enjoying gymnastics and have made great improvements in their skills!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Day of School

Both kids are going to an elementary school this year. I work in Hampton where full day pre-k and kindergarten are offered. In Virginia Beach we have to pay for preschool and only have half-day kindergarten so we decided this was the best choice for our family at this time. The kids are going to the school right down the street from where I work so they are nice and close and I know a couple people in the building who can help spy check on them from time to time and give me a little reassurance...I may or may not have sent our SRO to check on them during their first day :)
Orientation was good and they both went right to work checking out their new classes and meeting new friends. I got them all set up for after care and asked some, but certainly not all, of the questions I have. Their school is from 7:30-2:00 and mine is 8:20-3:09 so we needed something for them to do after they get out. The aftercare goes as late as 6:00 which they will never be there for but it gives me a little flexibility for days that I have meetings and such.

On Labor day (the day before school started) Izzy and I went for mani/pedis and hair cuts while the boys went to the baseball game. It was an awesome way to close out the summer before getting back into our routine.

The first day drop-off was a little rough. They did not allow parents to walk the kids in so I didn't get to take any pictures in the classroom or really say goodbye the way I had imagined, but the kids were fine and went right to their lines with the other students. I was so anxious all day to pick them and finally ran over there as soon as I could. The kids had such a great time and they both got excellent reports. We did homework...practicing the pledge...and they are super excited to go back! All-in-all it was a great day and they looked super cute if I do say so myself :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July!

2009-2013 4th of July Family Pics
4th of July was a low-key holiday for us this year. We started our day with the beach and Tanner's friend Kaylee came along. We had a great time and then Noah had to head to work and we headed to the Michaels' house for a pool party and cookout. The kids were fast asleep long before any of the fireworks started, but we had a great time instead. We managed to grab a family pic before the beach so we can continue our comparison! Izabel managed to wear a new dress two years in a row even though she can still wear last year's dress, however Tanner actually wore the exact same outfit :) We had a great day and finished out the holiday week with Despicable Me 2 at the movie theater today. The kids head to Massanutten for vacation with my parents tomorrow while I complete my second residency at ODU. Hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Fun!

This summer is super busy with school and my internship, but we have been trying to include some fun into our summer as well. The kids and I have been hitting the gym 3-4 times a week, which they love because they get to play. We've met up with Jackie and Jackson a few times and they love the play place at the Great Bridge YMCA. We've also been using the pool there. 

Last week we met up with Tanner's best (girl)friend from school for play time at "jumpy jump" and lunch. It was so cute watching them play together. Kaylee literally squealed when she saw Tanner and he was the kindest sweetest boy I've ever seen while he was playing with her. We was just on cloud nine the whole time....I think we're in trouble! We're planning another play date this week. The kids get along great and I have a good time with Kaylee's mom. Hopefully we can keep this up since they will be going to different schools next year (more on that later)!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to our wonderful Daddy and Granddaddy! We love you both so much and are so thankful for all that you give to us and do for us. We are also thankful for our Papa, uncles, cousins, Godfather's and other father figures that make our life so wonderful. We hope you all have an amazing, relaxing, and fun-filled day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Bittersweet Last Day of School

I've been watching everyone post about how sad they were to see their kids finishing preschool and going to kindergarten and I get that it is a milestone, but I really didn't understand all the tears and emotions........until today!

For the past three years our kids have been taught, nurtured, and most importantly loved by the wonderful teachers at Greenbrier Manor. We have loved our experience there and highly recommend it to anyone on the hunt for a preschool starting as early as age 2. We are waiting to find out if Tanner gets accepted to the preschool program in Hampton, so right now this may be the end of our experience at Greenbrier Manor, and that was sad. 

Tanner with Mrs. Michelle and Mrs. Amy...Izabel had them when she was 3 as well!
Izabel with her preschool teacher Mrs. Cathy
 Watching my kids go into school for the last time and watching their teachers get teary eyed was all it took for me to start crying. Especially Mrs. Bridget. She has loved my kids more than we could ever have asked a teacher to love them and she is so sad to see them go! We are more than grateful for her and all she has done for our family and she will be missed more than she knows.

Then there was the first day and last day picture comparison that got to me. They have grown SO much this school year. I couldn't believe how much more grown up my Izzy looks since she started preschool. Now we walked out of the building with a kindergartener and yes it is a little sad. She is so smart and friendly and wonderful and I know she will be happy and successful throughout her education...but it is sad to see her growing up so fast. 

First day and last day of preschool and pre-k 3 2012-2013
For now we will enjoy the summer, anxiously await our placement for preschool and kindergarten, and try to slow down this crazy life of ours....well at least a little bit!! 
Tanner with his girlfriend Kaylee....they are so cute together!
Happy Last Day of School :)