Monday, August 31, 2009

First soccer games

This Saturday marked the beginning of the games for this soccer season. Neily was up first and... let's not talk about it. She was in a foul mood and decided she wasn't interested. The one picture I have in this slideshow is the only one I took because she spent most of her time walking (yes, WALKING) behind the rest of the girls and looking at the ground. I was not happy and after she heard what I had to say after the game, I don't think it will happen again. She has always loved soccer and has a big smile on her face, so I'm not sure what was going on this weekend.
Jack was so happy! He was sitting on the bench swinging his feet and he looked up at me with this big smile and said, "It's finally my first game!" He has watched his big sister play so many games, he couldn't believe it was finally his turn. Neily loved watching him, she cheered and he did a great job. He was great on defense and such a good listener.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

There she goes...

Neily is off to first grade! *sniff* I miss her so much and it's 9 o'clock in the morning! That's not good. She'll be gone until 3:40 every day, I just can't wrap my head around that. She has been SO excited all week, practically counting the hours, and then she had a meltdown yesterday afternoon and decided she didn't want to go. I think I'd said, "I'm going to miss you soooooo much" one too many times and she was really upset. She said she wanted me to homeschool her, to which I laughed out loud. I would be the WORST. Her teacher this year is Mrs. Stutzman, and I am in love with her already. She is everything a teacher should be, funny, warm, smart, loving. Neily loved her from the first minute. We were also really happy with her teaching philosophy. She's not a by the book teacher, and she is getting her master's in children's literacy, so she really believes that their overall academic success is dependent on a love of reading and reading well. Every subject that she teaches is based in reading, even math and science. Neily is a great reader so I think Mrs. Stutzman is a great match for her. The kids have their own desk this year and their own pencils and supplies. She also packs a lunch, which is hard to get used to! There are quite a few familiar faces in her classroom, and we laughed when we found out that Neily, Grace, and Ty are sitting in a row. That's not going to last long!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let's try this again...

I changed the permissions on the Flickr album, let me know if you can see the slideshow now! Also let me know if it shows up in your Reader (if you use one).

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I finally got the blog set up the way I liked it, and I was all excited about the FlickSlidr slideshow program, and I just realized it won't show up in a reader. I know that a lot of people use Google Reader and those kinds of programs, can you please leave me a comment and let me know? If you use a reader, or if you don't, that will help me decide if I should keep using the Slideshow format. For now, you can click on the blog title when you get an update in your reader, and then it will open the post in a new window. Sorry!
We've been to Hilton Head so many times, but we had never been to (or even heard of!) Hunting Island. My friend said we had to go, and I am SO glad we did. For me, this was the highlight of the trip. The beaches were absolutely stunning. They were clean, open, and gorgeous! The shell hunting was at its best here. Jack was a little angry that we didn't actually swim here, we just let the kids collect shells and enjoy the water and sand. Once he got his shorts wet (which was fine with us), he was more than a little angry and wanted to leave. We had planned to be at the beach at sunset, and I packed outfits for a photo shoot with the kids. Those pictures will come later, I need to edit them! We changed them into the photo shoot clothes and when Jack got a tiny splash of water on THOSE shorts, he yelled, "Oh, MAN!" and never went near the water again. Neily loves water of any kind- she will jump in it, swim in it, surf in it, lounge in it, she is a beach bum. She is also quite the model and had more ideas than I did for her 'photo shoot'. We also climbed the lighthouse, which is higher than the Harbor Town Lighthouse, saw an 8 foot alligator roaming the park freely (yikes!), and took a long walk onto the marsh boardwalk to see the sunset and lots of wildlife. We saw a lot of crabs and met a couple 'crabbing' for their dinner! So cool, something we will try when the kids have more patience.

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I'm messing around with the blog today and screwing up all kinds of things. If you happen to stop by and see it all whacked out, sorry!

Hilton Head

More from our trip to Hilton Head! We are back in the real world and really missing the beach, but we are ready to get back to school and be normal again.
We took the kids to Lawton Stables with the intention of letting them ride the horses, but when they didn't notice that it was an option, we didn't offer! How mean are we?! They still loved it and we took our $100 and had dinner out instead. *snicker* After the stables, we walked around Harbor Town and checked out the boats, climbed the lighthouse, and ate at our family favorite, the Crazy Crab. Don't ask why we like it so much there, it's basically the equivalent of Red Lobster but it's family friendly and a tradition with a great view! Jack took a picture with the statue of the founder of Harbor Town. Anyone who knows Jack knows how much he loves Halloween, ghosts, and anything associated with the 'creepy'. Well, he saw this man's plaque and statue and immediately wanted to know if he was dead, was he buried there, etc. He was very interested and probably would have stayed there checking it out for hours! I guess that's weird, but he just likes it! Oh, Jack. We also did just a little bit of shell hunting before we left, it was HOT and Mommy got very cranky. Eddie showed me this new slideshow tool, it's pretty neat! It will cycle through the photos for you, or you can click them individually. The only thing I'm not sure of is that it doesn't allow me micromanage and tell you about each and every photo.... *gasp!* How will you survive if you don't read about the goat standing on the house or Neily posing in the lighthouse?!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hello from Hilton Head!

I promised the fam' a few updates from Hilton Head, so here is a peek at our first day. The drive went great yesterday, the kids only gave us a few 'Are we there yet?'s from the backseat, but luckily we had stolen enough of the Peters' and Russells' movie collections to keep them happy for the drive.
Look at what awaited us when we arrived in Hilton Head! An awesome rainbow! This is taken with the little point and shoot and doesn't do it justice, it was really bright and clear.

We drove into the community to find this gorgeous sunset. I soooo badly wanted to make it to the beach on time to take advantage of it, but we didn't quite make it.

Today we hit the beach even though the sky looked a little threatening. When we first got there, it drizzled on us for about an hour and then it was all blue skies and beautiful- just enough of a breeze to keep us cool. We couldn't ask for more than that!
We got the kids body boards and it's probably going to be the best $20 we spend on this trip. They absolutely loved it. Neily was pretty good at it, she looked like a little surfer girl. Every time I see her, I think she grows a little older. :( She has really lost that baby look and she looks like a little tween now. I can't stand it!

Jack was convinced that the best way to surf was to throw himself AT the wave and nothing we could do was going to stop him. Finally, he tossed the board on the sand and said, "It's broken," and just went on jumping in the waves.
Daddy getting in on the action

When the tide came up, we built a little river to suck some of the water away from the waves, and I told Eddie, "Take my picture with them so I can prove that I actually got dirty and played in the sand when they don't remember!" Before he did it, this sweet lady asked us if we would like a picture of the four of us, of which we have about 2! Um, SURE!

Lots of fun so far! We went out to dinner and then rode around in the golf cart to see the whole neighborhoos. Suffice to say Daddy is not a safe golf cart driver! Jack told him, "Move over, I'll drive, Dad!" and he was serious. We saw an alligator on the lagoon, and we all stopped and ogled. Jack seemed a little unimpressed, which was weird to me. As we drove away, we said, "Wasn't that cool, Jack? Did you ever think you'd see an alligator that close in a neighborhood?" and he said, "Wait... are you guys talking about the birds?" Um, no. We asked again if he'd seen the alligator, and he said, "The alligator bird?" See, I TOLD Eddie we should have renewed our zoo pass this summer!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Soccer has started!

Soccer started last night, which is crazy to me because that means that the end of summer is here. Noooooooo!
Neily wanted to play again, and Jack is finally old enough! He has sat through three seasons of games and countless practices watching Neily play, and he couldn't wait to get in on the action. Juggling two kids in soccer is daunting with twice a week practices and overlapping games, but I think we'll make it through. For three seasons, we've been running a 'carpool' scam with our friends, and getting all the girls on the same team. It made soccer so much fun, and this year they must have wised up and didn't fulfill any team requests. :( I don't know how the kids are going to feel playing against their friends and we are especially sad to have to root against Coach Phil and Coach Jason. Both kids had some familiar faces on their teams, so hopefully that will ease the transition.

And this one doesn't belong to the Reds...

The night after my birthday, we went to the Reds game with Craig and Kate. We had AMAZING seats. We were about 15 rows up directly behind home plate, and we are forever ruined for any other seats at the ball park! The view was great, until of course the Reds started to play. They sure make it hard to remain a fan, but we'll keep trying. In all the years I've known Eddie, we have yet to see the Reds win a game in Cincinnati, and we've seen more than a few. The only time we can both recall them winning was a crazy 18-2 game at Coors Field when we lived in Denver. We did see two sets of back to back home runs, which was fun! After the game, we headed to Newport (like all good Cincinnatians, running out of the city) and met up with Eddie's cousin Beth. After two bars that failed our test, we ended up drinking the night away on the Purple People Bridge- genius! What an idea. Cincinnati has several bridges that span the river between Ohio and Kentucky, and the Purple People Bridge is now only for pedestrians, used as a way to get between Newport and downtown Cincy. They had a bar set up and some live music for a festival. We decided we'd pool our money, buy the bridge and name it Pennington's Purple People Pub, all welcome of course. The best laid plans are hatched after midnight on city bridges, I tell ya.

First, some pre game Chipotle. He wrote His and Hers on the wrappers instead of whatever, chicken 1 and chicken 2, which for some reason is really funny to me and I just might have this framed over our bed. Maybe not.
At the park

Eddie modeling Pennington's Purple People Pub's Purple chairs.

Hello Chicago!

This week, I took the kiddos up to Chicago to enjoy some beach time and just get a change of venue. Summer is almost over and we were running out of weekends, so I just went on my own with the kids. I felt a little guilty about taking a random 'vacation' without Eddie, but then I decided that dragging two kids around the city by myself and breaking up fights over sand toys is still work, even if we were in an awesome city! Neily and Jack love 'the city' and I think we should move there- I belong there, as told to me by a Facebook quiz, the source of truth. We spent the week exploring Aunt Lindsay's neighborhood, hitting the beach and enjoying each other. Most of the time. ;) For my birthday, I asked for a smaller point and shoot camera. I wanted something that I could always have with me and wouldn't be worried about dropping it, spilling on it, etc. I felt like we were missing out on some snapshots because I didn't want to/was worried about bringing my camera out. It has worked out great so far, I didn't have to worry about taking it to the beach or snapping shots around town.

On to picture overload!
At the lake:

Mmm, Scooters Ice Cream, don't feel sorry for Duncan, he got his cone first and wolfed it down, he was just being greedy:Jack and "Icky" at Giordano's. If I want straight up pizza, I don't really care for Chicago style, but pizza aside, it's GOOD stuff!

Night sky from under the awning in Grant Park

This was the first time we'd taken the kids to see the bean, they thought it was so neat.

Looking up into the middle

Now, I know the bean isn't going to go anywhere, but Lindsay and I both felt panicky when Jack (of course) tried to wedge himself underneath it. I still get chills thinking about it.

Happy birthday Jack and Mommy

We have had a VERY busy summer, especially this last month. Sorry for the lack of updates, and I'm going to try and get a bunch of posts up all at once, so keep checking back today if you don't use Google Reader (and you'd better be using it, MOM!). They're probably going to be out of order, but get over it. ;)

Jack turned FIVE last week and I turned... you all know, don't make me say it. 30. In all seriousness, 30 does not bother me. I will say that when I realized I was "in my thirties" that sounded a little scary, though! I spent the last day of 29 counting off all of the amazing things that happened to me in my 20s. I got married, I turned 21 (haha), we had the beautiful baby girl I always wanted, I had the amazing baby boy that I didn't even KNOW how much I wanted (on my 25th birthday), and friendships began that will carry me throughout my lifetime. My favorite saying is "We don't remember days, we remember moments" and that was never more true than looking back on my 20s. I can remember bringing Neily home for the first time at 23 (!!!), the moment I first held Jack on my 25th birthday, seeing my sister get married and welcoming Phil into our family at 28, saying goodbye to Emmy and sending her off to college, taking the kids to Disney World, girls trips to Raleigh, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and New York, watching the World Trade towers fall on our second wedding anniversary, and losing my friend Paula to cancer. I smiled a lot and cried a little and now it's time for pictures of the little man's fifth birthday!

Jack waiting patiently to open his presents at Nana's house

Legos! He loves Legos! I'm ashamed to say that this set is still in the box because it's a daunting task to put together.

We got him his own tackle box and fishing pole, and I knew it would be a hit. We were right, it hasn't left his hands for a week!

Jack requested to go to Nana's house to swim and have quesadillas on his birthday, so I tricked him into turning his quesadilla request into tacos, so we both got what we wanted for our birthday! Mmm, a mexican feast with Nana's homemade corn shells.

My awesome gift from my parents, a vintage Polaroid. My mom started getting these for me a few years ago, and I have a small collection of old cameras, they are SO cool. This one is by far my favorite, it's so neat to look through the lens.

Mmm, cake! He wanted a soccer cake, and he saw this one at Costco and had to have it. It is supposed to feed 48 people, but oh well, we got it anyway!

The birthday buddies with my birthday key lime pie. Haha!