Good Morning

Good morning from our new kitchen!

Josh must have found our family prayer that my mom cross stitched for us as a wedding gift last night. When I saw it this morning, I felt at home.

The frame and matting match our kitchen perfectly. That and finally getting to make coffee the way I like it helped, too!

I missed my Keurig. A LOT!

Molly has has me up since 4 scared of the thunder storm and James followed at 5 which will most likely be his call time the rest of the week until he gets settled.

It's great to have our girl back and it looks like she is feeling at home, too.

I will get an more coordinating dog bed once we figure out a decorating style/scheme for this area.

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Growing Up

So what has James been up to in his 14th month?

He now proudly says momma, dadda, Josh, bye, bye Josh, hat, hi, ball, beau (grandparents dog and what he calls all dogs)

He loves his shoes, since he isn't walking yet they are purely an accessory- but one he must have on at all times. I even put him down for his nap today in his crocs hoping that would make him happy - it did not. First thing when he wakes up in the morning he goes to find a pair of shoes (he has three) if he can't find a pair of his he tries to put on a pair of Joshes. Somehow he knows not to wear Mommas. He can put his toes in, but hasn't gotten his heal quite yet. His favorite are his crocs, although I try not to do those all too often as I don't know if they will impede his walking attempts. However he toddled around in them a little this afternoon, so who knows. We say socks and shoes as well as do the sign language for them, but he has a certain whine/grunt that I know means please put my shoes on, or my shoe fell off get it get it!

He graduated from ISR swim lessons in 2.5 weeks, he completed the floating phase and we'll go back to swim to the wall later this summer when he's walking. He's a great floater and we practice what he learned in swim lessons in grandma and grandpas pool- maybe we will get to give ours a try this weekend (wishful thinking I know).

We spend our afternoons going to Gymboree or one of the very many nearby parks.

He's getting better at hanging out in the gym daycare and church nursery. Mommy loves that!

He's not very into books right now, I feel like I'm reading them to myself, but I still read to him 30 minutes to an hour everyday.

He loves breakfast at the hotel and going out to eat because he loves people and makes friends everywhere we go. He has his girlfriends here at the hotel and I'm not sure how he is going to do having to eat all his meals just with me. He likes to talk to, wave and flirt with the ladies for sure!

Oh and that snaggle tooth grin of his, it was breaking my heart really really breaking my heartNow I really really love it!

We picked blueberries last week which was interesting with a stroller, crawler/carried little boy who doesn't particularly like blueberries.

I've realized that he understands just about everything I say and although his vocabulary is limited to a very southern drawl of baaaalll and beaaau - we know what the other person means almost 100% of the time.

Even when he's squirming out of my arms, refusing to sit still or do the things I ask - I still love spending just about every waking and sleeping (we are in a hotel suite) moment with my sweet little boy.

I can't wait to bring him to the house he will grow up in tomorrow!

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Getting Excited

I've been guarded trying not to get 'too' excited about moving into our new home for fear one of the many things involved in buying and moving may go wrong and I don't know...we live in a Marriott for the rest of our lives.

Yesterday we had our walk through, and I'm officially excited!

Lots of work ahead, lots of painting and lots and lots of furniture to buy, but I'm really excited to make it ours!! Closing in a few more days, and I can't wait to spend our first night there, red walls and all.

We've been more than warmly welcomed by friends. As lost as I feel some days, others I feel completely at home, and so happy to have such great friends back in our day to day lives.

Weekly play dates with one of my sorority sisters has been so fun, even more fun celebrating her son and sisters son's first birthdays. Added bonus lots of long-lost college cums and seeing their kiddos as well. I don't know what's nicer seeing old friends or meeting their children. It's such a treat either way.

Girls nights out with such wonderful friends, I've never appreciated a cheesy fondu dinner at melting pot so much.

Sharing special traditions with some of my very best friends. I had a moment of knowing I was living the dream, as Josh often puts it. Sipping mimosas with her at the same beach restaurant where we hosted her baby shower a few years back - our boys now sitting next to each other sharing cheese grits. Sharing memories and making new ones as gulf coast breezes blew through the courtyard. Yes- we are home.

I know Gods been listening to my prayers, and lead me to run into one of my sorority sisters at the country club gym on Monday. Talk about a warm welcome and words of encouragement and inspiration that I needed to hear. So excited to connect with her, and a few hours later a call from yet another college friend and sister, her voice was music to my ears, can't wait to get together and reconnect with all these great people.

I feel even more at home in the church we attended and were married in. We've been more than warmly welcomed back, and the homemade banana bread they brought to the hotel yesterday was surly a happy treat.

While I'm still figuring it all out, and feel like a fish out of water more than I'd like to, this new chapter is really starting to take shape. I'm so grateful to be creating a nest for our family, cherishing old friendships getting a fresh start, and enjoying making new friends along the way.

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The Tooth Fairy Came Early

Yesterday was a bigger day than I was expecting it to be.

James had a dark spot on one of his front teeth that has been bothering me and when I noticed a chip on the backside, I thought it was worth asking one of my very best friends, who happens to be a pediatric PA about it.   She reviewed the risks with me: exposed nerve, risk for infection, etc - so I called a few pediatric dentists to have my little guy checked out.  We ended up taking James to the same practice my husband went to as a child and they were fantastic! 

After an exam and x-rays we discovered that his little front tooth never fully developed and his nerve was exposed.  It wasn't infected, but was at risk both the his health and the development of his permanent tooth.  It was in his best interest to have that little baby tooth pulled.  They wrapped him in the little baby papoose and I sang to him and held his little hands and legs under the purple wrap.  I know we did the right thing for him, but I'm still a little sad about it.  I took one last shot of his teethy grin before my 14 month old went from 5 teeth back to 4.

This whole experience has me in awe of God's mastery in creating us - everything that comes together for each of us to be who we are is such a miracle.  So very grateful for his guidance in our parenting and creating James to be such a special little boy who may just spend the next 6 or 7 Christmases wishing for his two front teeth...


Just where we left off...

Well I feel like we are starting to get acclimated to the Florida lifestyle.  We are living in a hotel like most of the state's inhabitants (tourists).

I've mapped out every storytime, music class, and park in a 20 mile radius - James and I leave the hotel by 8:30 every morning and hopefully return by 12, so we both don't have to sit in the car for his whole nap - unfortunatly my non-transferring son is taking lots of carseat naps...still. So sometimes we are in the car for 3 hours - which is taking it's toll on my back.

We had a very festive weekend - pizza party on Friday night with some of our very best friends.  Joined the country club, got very creative with carseat napping, had new tires and brakes put on Josh's Xterra, and had a festive dinner at the Columbia on Sand Key and an unfortunate heimlich done on a 1-year-old who liked daddys red velvet birthday cake a little too much on Saturday.  Sunday - we celebrated Josh's Birthday - he is now the same age as me again - it's a hard three months I have being older than my husband =)

All the festivities are surely fun, but they are running our little guy (and me) ragged - his bedtime was 6:30 before we moved and this weekend it was more like 9:30 - poor fella.  I'm really focusing on us getting back on track.  Eating almost every meal out - takes up so much time and calories.  I've gained 10 pounds in the 2 weeks we've been back - not what I was expecting.  Hello I live in FL now, we have a pool in our soon to be backyard, I need to be in a bathing suit all the time and we go to Hawaii in June.  Getting into a normal schedule this week of working out and walks everyday and eating a few more meals in our little kitchenette - I've been making a knock off Trader Joes Kale and Edamame Salad and my all time fav Warm Quinoa Salad.  Which reminds me, I need to write Trader Joe's again to remind them I need them to open a store in the Tampa Bay Region ASAP (I try to do this weekly-I have such fantastic priorities). 

Speaking of priorities, I feel like I should know how I want to decorate our new home.  I just don't know in the least....

We are almost tripling the square footage we had in Virginia - so I know we will need a few rooms worth of furniture - ha.  I will be working around the a lot of the previous owners designs and really have a hard time thinking how to deal with half of the first floor in black and white imported Carrera marble floors.  Actually I do have a pretty good game plan for dealing with that, I think the real problem is I like to weigh out my options more than "do things."  I can't even commit to a rug for the play room, I think I have about 15 in shopping carts around the world wide web right now- I'm obviously going to have lots of issues decorating.  Just thinking of which rooms to have the movers place our existing furniture makes me anxious.

But I do love our neighborhood and usually drive by our new home once a day- hope no one has noticed yet =)

I love the spanish moss hanging from the oaks lining the roadways. 

 I love that the temperature drops 5 degrees when you pull into the neighborhood - thanks to all the woodlands and conservation.  I love that we see dear, turtles, every type of bird and even alligators on our daily walks.  I really love that the flag poles on every mailbox wave Old Glory - I can't wait for the fourth of July at our new house!

Very excited to be home, and I'm ready to get settled in.  Just a few more weeks!


Easter Weekend

What a gorgeous first weekend for us to spend in Florida.

Each holiday (actually each day) gets more fun as James grows up.

Who's ready for an Easter Egg Hunt?

For all the money we've spent at striderite, James started standing and taking his first assisted steps in his Easter white high tops.

He loves these shoes and cries to hold them when I take them off him. Who knew?

He also loves playing grandmas piano.

On Saturday we all went to the Egg Hunt at the country club in our new neighborhood.

James loved the Easter Bunny.

We are buying a house in the same neighborhood where Josh grew up, and like to joke about having grandma and grandpa's club account already memorized!

I let James practice hunting eggs before the actual event started. Even though the sections were divided by age, we didn't think he stood a chance of getting any when the hunt began.

We were pleasantly surprised at his egg hunting abilities, he held his own in the 5 and under group!

Checking out his prizes with daddy.

He's a fan of Easter egg hunts, I think he loved seeing all the other kids the most.

Despite being tired, he would NOT take a nap. He finally 'napped' at 5:30, Josh and I took the opportunity of a sleeping baby at his grandparents house to go out to dinner to the neighborhood sushi restaurant- it was pretty amazing.

Sunday morning brought Easter Basket goodness. We've been reading his Easter books for the past month or so. Haven't learned to buy batteries when buying toys yet. I bought extra bubble solution, but we still can't experience our bubble hurricane just yet.

The real reason for this weekend is the celebration of the gift of eternal life Jesus gave to all of us. Never before have I been more grateful for his sacrifices.

We visited a new satellite campus of one of the larger churches on this side of town. This was their first Sunday open and the facility was just minutes outside of our new neighborhood. I loved the pastor and the message, but I must be one of the few who prefers hymns on Sunday morning instead of a rock concert. While I do want to find a close neighborhood church, I may be willing to make the 30 minute drive to the church I went to and love in South Tampa.

We finished our afternoon with a visit from my parents and Molly. We had a great time together even though the Gators lost in the elite 8 to Michigan.

James managed to spill an entire sippy cup if water on himself, guess he's ready for swim lessons to start on Tuesday!

It took 7 days, but James finally took a nap in the right place (his crib, not the car) at the right time (12:30).

I'm writing this on Monday at 1:30 and listening to him jibber jabber in his crib and not sleep- after a wrong place (car seat) wrong time (11) cat nap this morning. Agh!

I will get us back on schedule some day!

Dinner was great at one of our favorite beachy restaurants. It feels good to be home.

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