Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Mountain Getaway

Over the 4th of July weekend, the kids and I tagged along with my parents on a quick mountain vacation. We really needed to get away for a few days. We stayed in a precious mountain house, affectionately called "Granny's Old House." The owner's grandmother owned the house and raised six children in it near the town of Sparta, NC. It had beautiful mountain views and was surrounded on three sides by cow pastures. In fact, most mornings we sat on the back porch and ate our breakfast along side the cows! While we were there, we took the kids tubing on the New River, mucked around in a mountain stream at Stone Mountain, climbed to the peak of Mount Jefferson, visited Shatley Springs to drink the healing spring water and eat family style, went to the original Mast General Store in Valle Crusis, shopped at Ashe County Cheese, and of course ate at the Daniel Boone Inn! We packed a lot into a long weekend. The kids were so well behaved considering how long we spent in the car. Here are some highlights of our trip!

Our sweet family!

Stone Mountain

The summit of Mt. Jefferson

Granny's Old House

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Swing Set!

My whole family has been a huge support for me trying to get my house back in order after our recent family changes. One way that my daddy and Justin have helped is by putting together a swing set for the kids. Todd and I purchased it last year and never had a chance to put it together. Over a couple of weekends, Daddy and Justin worked hard to put this thing together and we have already enjoyed it quite a bit. We've even had a playdate and invited Abby's friend David over to play.

Here are Abby and Tyler swinging together!

Hanging out in the clubhouse:

While swinging, Abby noticed this triangle up in one of the neighbor's pine tree. She blows me away with how observant she can be!

This is how tall the pine tree really is:

Learning how to be a family of three...

Well, after I made the last post about us buying a bigger house and those precious Valentine's Day pictures, big changes started happening in our home. I won't go into a lot of detail, but just know that Todd and I are now legally separated. It was not my choice and I was completely surprised and devastated. It has been a little over a month now, and the kids and I are just now getting into a rhythm and are looking for our "new normal." Because we have two beautiful kids together, I have made it my goal to stay positive and not be negative in regard to Todd. Yes, my life is completely different. No, it is not what I wanted, signed up for, or expected. But, at the end of the day, I still have a home, a job, and two precious gifts from God in Abigail and Tyler. I have wonderfully supportive family and friends. We will make it and God will see us through!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Funny Valentines

Here are some cute pictures of my kiddos from the Sunday before Valentine's Day. I know, I know, I'm way too matchy-matchy. But when your kids are this stinkin' cute, you just can't resist! :)

Love their expressions in this last picture!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Last Five Months

We've been a little MIA these last five months. Okay, maybe a lot MIA. Here's a quick recap since September to get you caught up with our crazy lives!

-We've had all four of our birthdays. Abby and Todd celebrated on November 16th. She remains his greatest birthday present to date :). Abby turned four this year. It blows my mind how quickly time flies!! My birthday was December 16, and Tyler's was on December 17. Our baby turned 2!

-We've had multiple Christmas celebrations with all of our wonderful family in all the corners of the state. We've celebrated in Sanford, Sims, Elizabethtown, Aurora, and New Bern!

-Abby is taking dance now at a small local studio. It's called Happy Feet, which is perfect since she loves that movie so much! She's in a preschool age class, and I have been super impressed with the experience. I was really worried that she wouldn't be a good listener, but she does a fabulous job listening to her teacher Mrs. Kristen.

-We've had several decent snows for New Bern this year. We've missed some school, which will be sad when it's time to make it all up!

I think the biggest news of all is that we are going to put our home on the market soon. It's bittersweet for us, but we feel it is the right thing to do. Even though this is our first home, we are quickly outgrowing it! We were not planning on selling our house right now, but I think God is leading us in this decision. It all started with me browsing the internet for homes in our area. Not seriously, just to see what was out there. I found a foreclosure in our area and it was a good deal for a lot of house and not in horrible shape. That house ended up going under contract before we could do anything about it. However, that got the ball rolling. We are actively working to put our house on the market and hope to do so very soon. And now, we have another house prospect that will most likely work out. God knew what he was doing when he had me searching the internet that night!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bear Hunt

On Labor Day, Amy and I decided to take the kids on a Bear Hunt through downtown New Bern. For those who haven't seen them, there are 27 bear statues that have been placed in spots around the downtown area, with another 23 in the Greater New Bern Area. The bears have been painted to represent either the location or the ideals of the organization that sponsored placement of each bear.

More information about each of the Bear Town Bears can be found here.

Here are the bears we found today (20 of the 27 downtown bears)

And some photos from our journey:

Saturday, August 21, 2010


A couple of weeks ago we took a long weekend trip up to Virginia. We were gone 4 jam-packed days! We left on a Thursday afternoon and drove up to Virginia Beach, taking a quick dinner break in Elizabeth City. Waterfront Park is downtown and gave the kids the opportunity to stretch their legs.

Friday morning we woke up bright and early and drove from Jodi's house in Virginia Beach to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We spent a long, hot, but fun day there. Abby and Tyler enjoyed the Forest of Fun which is a Sesame Street themed area. Everything is very kid friendly. Here are the kids waiting to get on a ride:

Here we are riding!

And that was the last image ever taken by my camera. Following that picture, Todd proceeded to balance the camera on a fence post to get out his cell phone. The camera tipped, and then fell onto the rocks around the ride, and into the water. Luckily (I thought) I was able to fish the camera out as Tyler and I rode by. Not necessarily so lucky because the camera was a goner. So about 30 minutes into our vacation we were short a camera. I was sad, but we stayed positive and had a great day! Todd and I were able to leave Abby and Tyler with my parents on a few occasions to ride some grown-up rides. We LOVE rollercoasters!

On Saturday we went to the Virginia Aquarium near the Oceanfront. We were able to see a 3D IMAX movie about dolphins and whales. Abby normally loves watching "animal shows" as she calls them, but something about huge whales coming right at her head didn't do much for her. Everyone else seemed to enjoy the movie just fine. It is a large aquarium and there were plenty of cool things to see. One of Tyler's favorite parts was the massive stingray touch tank. He loved to watch them swim around and around and we even got to watch a feeding.

Sunday morning we ventured towards Newport News and visited the Virginia Living Museum. We would highly recommend it for families with kids. Or if you are dorky teachers like Todd and I, even adults like it! It is kinda pricey to get in, but since we are members of the NC Aquarium we were able to get in for free because it is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. There are lots of hands-on things for kids, as well as animal exhibits both indoors and out. It is like a combination of a zoo, aquarium, and museum.

When we left the Living Museum we had originally planned to drive home. But, we decided to be adventurous and drive down the Outer Banks. It took us about 2 hours, but we made it to Kitty Hawk just in time to have a fantastic seafood dinner. Dinner was good, but of course we didn't have any kind of hotel reservation. We drove towards Manteo because we knew it would be a little cheaper. We ended up at the Dare Haven Inn. Too put it mildly, it was an interesting experience. It was very dated, the mattress was horrible, and there were mismatched towels in the bathroom. Despite all of this, we had a great evening. Todd and I put the kids to bed, and then sat outside on the breezeway in some comfy chairs. It was the first time during the whole vacation we were able to sit and talk and enjoy each other! As Todd called it, here are some images of "The Hotel Time Forgot":

The next morning we got up and went to the NC Aquarium in Manteo. It is smaller than the one in Pine Knoll Shores, but it was nice to see something a little different. We were able to watch a live dive and listen to the diver answer audience questions. Abby also enjoyed looking for sharks' teeth in their sharks' tooth pile.

That afternoon we headed home. We were glad to get home and sleep in our own beds!