Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Loving & Leaving

Who needs a vacation when you can spend your summer doing this...

Ok, ok, maybe we were on a permanent vacation, but it's back to reality for me after spending the majority of the summer galavanting across the country. Grace, Braxton and I got to spend some amazing time with my parents in northern California.
Grace and Grandad found each other at the airport
Braxton met his Grandad for the first time. 

Grammy and Grandad with their favorite grandson!

We visited family. 

GG, or "Grandma Buddy" as Grace calls her
Great Grandma Elsie and Braxton

Lots of fun times playing games and snuggling!
Went to the Alexander Family Reunion Campout at the DeForest Ranch.  

Dog race followed by the kids race
Grace wants to ask Santa for one of these for Christmas! 
Grace took swim lessons.
3 weeks of lesson in Portola. Grace loved the instructors and gained so much confidence in the water. 
Braxton learned how to sit up, scream and Army crawl. 

"It's on, Mama!"
We ate like we were on vacation!

Went hiking, biking and kayaking. 

We missed Daddy a lot, but we were reunited for a fun trip to South Lake Tahoe at the end of the month. We got to enjoy to the view (and the cooler weather), and let loose a little with some good friends.
See the resemblance? ;)

My handsome date! SO happy to be reunited with my other half. 
The boys pre-wedding. 
Congratulations, April and Ryan! We had a blast celebrating with you guys!
I'm still not exactly sure how we ended up living so far away from my family, but I am so grateful for this fun-filled time we got to spend with them this summer. How lucky was I to wake up to fresh brewed coffee and the occasional bakery delight? We went on evening walks and enjoyed the bounty at the weekly Farmer's Market. We saw wildlife ranging from packs of bucks, to a bear trotting across the rode. We laughed, joked and made cherished memories.

Bike ride and donuts- a perfect combo!
This mug was handmade by a potter selling his wares at the Beckwourth Farmer's Market. I'm pretty sure it can house 3 cups of coffee! (Perfect for mornings when you're dragging...)
We were sad to leave our west coast friends and family, but had to head home and resume "real life." The flight home was pretty good not quite horrible. We decided on a red-eye non-stop flight from Sacramento to Charlotte. Our hope was that B + G would sleep (you know, since it's the middle of the night?!). The hard part was getting to the airport well past their bedtime and negotiating ticket counters, security checkpoints and gate areas with two delirious children. Braxton slept the entire flight home (thanks to the all-you-can-eat-breastfeeding-buffet) and Grace finally got comfortable a fell asleep.
You know, just hanging at the airport trying to maintain our sanity. 
Now that we're home, we're getting in some more family camping trips and prepping Grace for her return to preschool. She will be attending three days a week, and can't wait to go!

Braxton is moving and grooving and basically a menace. He can maneuver his way using an army crawl all the way across the living room, into the kitchen (or to the dog food bowl). He is still not sleeping through the night and has started eating pretending to eat, but mostly just spitting it all out.

Family life is keeping us busy, and we are looking forward to the shift to fall in the coming months. Bring on the football, celebrations, pumpkins and changing leaves!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Feels Like Summer

Eeek! I am officially that person who says, "where has the time gone?" (I also say, "darn" and Grace seems to have picked up the phrase, "what in the world," from me, too!)

But seriously you guys, the days have been flying by and summer feels like it is officially here. We have been staying busy while we gett settled here in Charlotte.

Some highlights include:

Blowing bubbles
Picking strawberries
Learning to roll (4 months old)
A hair makeover 
We are ready to explore...
...in our new vacation home on wheels!

University City Duathlon and Kid's Fun Run
Enjoying some time in the sun
Grace teaching her little brother everything she knows
So there you have it. A glossed over, made for social media, highlight reel of some of the recent going-ons of our family. Sure there are some not so great times, like late night baby feedings, and 'mad-at-mama-three-year-old-llama-drama,' but I can't complain. There are way more lilacs coming my way than lemons


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a new house, in a new city with a new(ish)born. The three year old was running in circles pulling a stuffed dog toy around by a leash shouting out random lines from the Octonauts. Griffin (the real dog) was growling in his usual grouchy way and there were cardboard boxes all around us.
Grace's look for unpacking- swim suits and snow hats
These two are the sweetest siblings. Grace loves making her little brother smile.

It's CRA-ZY to think that this time last year-like this exact time- we were moving into the townhouse in Murfreesboro. Fast forward one year ahead and we are now a family of four. Cole survived one year on the night shift, which let me just tell you, takes its toll on you physically and mentally and on the family as a whole. We decided to take the leap and accepted a great job offer in Charlotte in order to be closer to family and other opportunities. All of this meant another dreaded move- probably like the 12th one as a married couple!

Not only are we still recovering from the chaos of moving, we're also recovering from the stress of selling our house (which was burglarized). Even with an offer at our very first showing, the whole real estate process has left me with a lot to be desired. I've also lost a little faith in humanity and can't shake the feeling of being violated. Stealing is wrong, peopleI'm trying my best to find the silver lining in the situation, and at least, at the end of the day we found a buyer fast, we are moved into a house that has a little more space (a playroom!) (a yard!), and we had insurance to cover the theft and damage. 

We are missing some wonderful friends that we left behind in Tennessee, but we plan to visit soon when Auntie Jen has a place for us to stay. Until then, we are looking forward to getting settled and doing some exploring in Charlotte. Grace is already inviting kids in the Chick-Fil-A play place over to play, so I think she'll have no problem making new friends. We're also excited to be nearby some family here in Charlotte.

Great grandparents visiting NC and meeting Brax
We've even already had our first visitor! Grandma came to visit for her Spring Break, and we hung pictures, went to see Cinderella at the movie theaters and took a day trip to IKEA. How lucky am I to have such a wonderful mom?
Braxton loves selfies (ha!)