Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I was so excited to drive up to the house and see a big cardboard box on our front porch recently. Apparently my little squeals of delight were contagious, because after a few minutes the kids caught onto the excitement, though not exactly sure why…

I received my very first order from Framebridge! I've been wanting to try them out and for Christmas got a gift certificate.

I went with four Instagram minis and did all white mats but with different frames. The process is so easy. Framebridge gets the images from my Instagram account. I choose which photo I want, then choose between a white or off-white mat, and pick one of their 25+ frames. Their frame collection is awesome; I did have some trouble deciding.

They come ready to hang and include a pouch with a nail and care instructions. I really like how they put felt dots on the backs of the frames to prevent scratches on walls.

I absolutely love the way they turned out!

That one is now hanging on a wall in the children's bathroom.

This one of Joseph running through a field is currently on the door to the hallway from the breakfast room where framed family photos cover the walls. I'm crazy about the burl wood.

The ones below (from Joe's 20th Naval Academy reunion) are stacked just inside the dining room if you're coming from the breakfast room. I love how the gold bamboo and the fluted antique gold complement each other.

Looking forward to using this company again. If you know me, you know I love framed art and photography. And I really love the affordability of going this route. I recommend!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

ash wednesday and stella thursday!

As you know, Lent has begun. Joseph was very excited to help his daddy burn the palm fronds from last year's Palm Sunday to make ashes for the Ash Wednesday service.

Hannah was in church with me, but I decided to run go get Joseph from the nursery in time for him to receive ashes on his forehead. I thought that was only fitting since he was the one that made them after all. His first time:

It was Hannah's first time, too, and I almost forgot to take a picture.

Much of last week we were dealing with nasty colds. (I'm still dealing with it. Ugh…) I took NyQuil on Wednesday night - and you know how that goes… I somehow never heard my alarm go off Thursday morning. But that's ok, Hannah made beds and got herself and Joseph dressed and ready for school:

Look at her… And his belt doesn't fit, and won't for two years, and his shirts don't really match, but that's ok. It's so nice when they become a little more self-sufficient, isn't it? 

I was at my small group meeting later that morning when I realized I had all kinds of messages on my phone. My sis-in-law went into labor!! Baby Stella was scheduled to arrive via c-section on Friday morning and we were planning to be there in Savannah. But she had different plans, surgery was bumped up, and she came a day early. When the new daddy wanted to FaceTime that afternoon, Joseph and I were thrilled! Welcome to the world, Stella Mae!!!

I picked up Hannah from school, Joe wrapped things up at work, and we packed in a hurry, anxious to get to the hospital and meet our niece (and cousin!).

And here she is!!!

Mama C is doing well and baby is healthy. We went back on Friday and Joe got to hold her for a little while. 

I held her for just a few seconds - long enough to get a picture, but was nervous about my germs. Due to flu precautions, children aren't allowed in patient rooms (or down the hallway), but a nice nurse held Stella so that Hannah and Joseph could see their new cousin through a window.

 The sweet new family:

I am itching to kiss and hold her for long amounts of time. Looking forward to our next trip south!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

my little valentines

Last week the children had their school Valentine parties. As we did the past three years (you can see them here, here, and here), I used photos to make Valentines for Hannah and Joseph to hand out. With scissors, a hole punch, and ribbon I got to work.

This year we attached gummies, their absolute favorite things. We've done M&Ms and lollipops in the past.

When I showed Hannah the two photos I picked out for her so she could choose…well, she couldn't decide. So we went with both.

I took two pictures of Joseph playing in the backyard and one was perfect for this purpose.

When Hannah got home from school, she wrote the names of her classmates on the back of each photo (and added a heart sticker).

Thursday was a busy day. It was show-and-tell day for the letter of the week: X. I can think of two things that begin with X. It was either printing out a picture of an X-ray of Daddy's leg or taking the xylophone from the playroom. We went with the latter.

As previously mentioned, it was Valentine parties. I didn't get a picture of Joseph at the preschool, but he went with us to the "big school" in the afternoon for Hannah's party and I got a picture of both of them there:

Thursday was also the start of soccer. Hannah was very excited…

…and very disappointed when they didn't get to practice because of the cold/wind and it just ended up being a parents meeting.

Better that way, too, because Monkey has been sick. She had an ear infection and was put on antibiotics a couple of weeks ago, but then Friday started complaining of pain in her other ear. Turns out there were infections in both ears and she is on her second round of antibiotics. She was in a lot of pain this weekend and I was thankful for a long weekend being lazy at home.

Joseph and I did get out on Saturday for a birthday party. This little friend lives on a farm and between the awesome sand box and getting up close and personal with the cows, Joseph had a big time.

Joe and I had a lovely night out on Friday with friends of ours. We drove to Augusta for a delicious meal at Edgar's Grille, a place we first went for our anniversary in October.

The rest of our "stay-home" days we watched movies, did some small house projects and ate Valentines candy:

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day to you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

tybee half marathon

This past weekend we were in Savannah for the Critz Tybee Run Fest. We drove into town on Friday afternoon and then, a bit later, on out to Tybee Island to pick up Joe's race packet. Hannah wanted to come along and I'm glad she did…

We got to have a few sweet moments on the beach with our girl.

Saturday morning started early, but both kids were up and dressed in a hurry. Obviously, we had to stop at Krispy Kreme on our way to the beach. I was very disappointed that there were no hot doughnuts ready, but we settled for some of these:

The race website advised us to arrive before the 7:00am start of the 10K due to parking and street closures, but we decided we'd take the risk. The half marathon start time was 8:30 and we were going to take advantage of a little extra sleep. We got out there around 7:40, found a great parking spot on 13th Street, and bundled up before heading over to the starting line.

Contrary to what we were expecting, it wasn't too cold. Hannah shed her coat almost immediately and I soon followed suit. The weather was incredible and both kids were so excited!

Love this video of them warming up with Daddy:

I had my phone in one hand taking pictures and Joe's phone in the other taking a video of the start. Hannah's cheering is awesome…

While we waited for Joe to run the first half of the course, we took a walk down the pier with Gran Gran and Poppy who also came to watch.

There were a bunch of surfers out in the water which was fun to see.

We found a spot on Butler Avenue to see Joe at the 7 mi mark. I encouraged him to wear his new (loud) neon singlet that I got him for Christmas and so glad he did - you could see him coming from a long ways off. No missing Daddy!

Now, let me tell you about Hannah. If you don't already know, she gets really into these races. She loves it all and is Daddy's biggest fan. She chose her outfit - three different layers. At the bottom was her favorite t-shirt which states "RUN FAST OR BE LAST". That's what she's showing Joe in the photo below.

One of the other runners said to Joe, "I don't know whose girl that is, but she sure is cute." To which he responded, "She belongs to me. Did you see her shirt? It says 'Run fast or be last'. You gotta train 'em early."

Another runner that passed by us at one point called out "I hope my daughter cheers like that one day!" Hannah is such a good supporter and encourager. I love that about her. So enthusiastic and animated. And Joe loves it, giving her a thumbs up and calling out as he passes by. {Joseph cheered mostly from the stroller but he gets a shout-out, too.}

Just by walking a few blocks, we caught Joe at the 7, 9.5, and 11 mile marks. Tybee is a great race, both for runners (it's flat!) and for spectators. The only wild card is the weather. Thankfully, the cold, wind, and rain of years past was not an issue this year.

That's him running into the finish on the left. He beat his goal of 1:25:00 finishing with a time of 1:23:13. Yay!!! With that time he qualified for the New York marathon! {As has been the case lately, he also ran with no pain!}

So excited and proud of Daddy!!

We wrapped up our morning on Tybee with a short playtime on the beach. It was chilly but sunny and Hannah and Joseph had a ball playing on the sand.

I wrote "Momma (heart) Hannah + Joseph" and then Hannah followed with her own message in the sand, x's and o's and stick figures:

What a fun morning and a great race!