Family Wedding Weekend

Brian’s sister got married June 6. It was a very fun time with family and her wedding was absolutely beautiful! We recently got pictures back, so I am finally posting about it.

The rehearsal dinner was at Pete & Sam’s. Margo’s teacher kept the kids so we could actually eat a meal and talk with people. 🙂

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The wedding day was very exciting! The day was a bit crazy, because Brian was helping his dad in the morning and then had groomsmen activities that day. The kids didn’t have to be at the church until later, so we hung out together and I had to figure out how to put P’s tux together. I think I did okay! Brian came home for about an hour and half so that I could go get my hair done. I loved how she did it – two little braids on the sides and fastened in the back. My big curls stayed all night!

The wedding was at St. Louis and the kids did a fabulous job as ring bearer and flower girl. The reception was at The Columns downtown. Here are my iPhone pics!

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And the professional pics!

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Congrats to the happy couple!

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Learning to Swim

We signed Preston up for swimming lessons this summer. He did one week of private lessons with a home-based instructor, then we took a week off. Then, he took from the same instructor, a Level 2/3 swimming class with 4 other kids.

The first week of private lessons were great! He went from not swimming at all, to swimming to pick up rings off the pool floor, and jumping off the diving board and easily swimming to the ladder. His main areas of weakness were swimming with the kickboard (this teaches him to put his face in and kick his legs at the top of the water) and remembering to take a breathe. He would jump off the diving board and swim under water all the way to the stairs. He really needed to come up for air! Here is the video I took on the last day of swimming:

We were excited to see how he would do in a couple weeks when we went back for Level 2/3! He was so excited about it and seemed want to do more in the pool. Well, on the first day of the group class, he was doing fine until she wanted him to swim from one end of the pool to the other. He had a complete meltdown and wouldn’t jump off the diving board, wouldn’t swim, etc. It was horrible to watch! I had to hide from him, because he was screaming at the top of his lungs “Mommy, save me! Save me!” I don’t know if it was a combo of him being scared, other kids watching, his super strong will, or what was going on, but he fell apart. No telling what the other parents in the class think! Unfortunately, that was pretty much how EVERY class went for the rest of the week. However, the teachers stuck with him and he finally did it. He still cried about it and was not happy with any of us, but he did it.

The thing is, he can swim and he CAN go the whole length. It is 100% mental.

He ended the last class with an emphatic “I’m never swimming again!” so that was super fun. After I talked to him, he said he actually did want to swim again, but didn’t want to swim the length of the pool. His teacher told me that her son had a major mental block when it came to swimming the length of the pool. She worked with him every day for 4 weeks before he would finally do it. My nerves could not take much more of hearing him scream, and I am not going to lie, I was pretty happy for the second week of lessons to be over! I will say my comfort level with his swimming is much better, and now at least if he jumps in or falls in, I know that he can save himself. SO, it looks like if we sign up again next year it will be for private lessons. Those seemed to be a much better fit for him, and we are only doing ONE week! 🙂 Oh well, in parenting you live and learn.

 

 

P’s First Camping Trip

Back in May, Preston and Brian were invited by our neighbor-friends for an overnight “camping” trip in the courtyard of Christ Methodist. Preston was so excited and couldn’t wait to go! From what I hear, Preston and Tyler slept great (although the dad’s didn’t) and Caroline had fun playing with them until it was time to go home. They also stayed up the latest of all the kids, playing in the gym and on the playground until almost 11 p.m.! It was a free event, and highly recommend if they do one again! Thanks for the invite Brasfield family!

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Blue blankie needed a good washing after this trip!

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April Showers

April has been a lovely month. Between Grizzlies playoffs (Brian enjoyed a game with a friend)…

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Learning about insects and bugs at school…

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He came home with ladybugs. He also did a “fill in the blank” project at school that is hanging up in the classroom. It says “If I were an insect, I would be _______.” Preston’s says “a cockroach so that I could scare people.” Lovely.

Margo deciding that she suddenly doesn’t love sleep so much anymore at night and would prefer to fall back asleep around 8 a.m. She’s passed out in our bed here, still in pjs at 10 a.m…

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A belated birthday gift from Brian to see Jonny Lang in Tunica. We made a stop at the TN Brewery Revival downtown. I love dates with him!

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Margo turning 18 months old. I am shocked at this. She weighed 24 lbs and was 33 in –  90% for height! Preston tagged along to the appt. Mainly because our pediatrician pulls suckers out from behind ears and Preston lives for it.

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Work began in our kitchen! Living without a kitchen isn’t so bad. I have a microwave, electric skillet and frig on our screened porch that is serving us well. We haven’t had to eat out much, and our families have been helping us with meals here and there too. We are still on track with our timeline and cabinets go in the week of May 11. We are waiting until Memorial Day to buy our appliances, but have them picked out. Here is the gutted kitchen with the dining room wall down.

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Interior of the dining room wall. You can see just how small our existing kitchen was!

 

 

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Wall down! It was load bearing, so we stabilized it with a large beam in the ceiling. Plumbing is newly routed here. You can see the new lines in the L-shape wall cut outs. New outlets were added. We only had 2 in our entire kitchen! Now we are up to code and have enough for my small appliance needs. 🙂


 More to come on that.

With all of this, we have been busy!

 

Auction, Soccer & More!

Back in February, we attended the auction that benefits P’s school. It was our first time attending and we got a table with some of the other couples in P’s class. It was really fun! I forgot to mention it back in Feb. I took a couple pictures that night. It was Memphis-themed, and the decorations were super cute. The party was very fun!

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Our whole table!

 

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In March, P started soccer. He was excited about it leading up to it, but the morning of, he didn’t want to go. We coaxed a little and he agreed. However, he got out there and had the time of his life! Brian took him while I took Margo to the pediatrician for an ear infection. We arrived for the tail end of it, and Preston had the biggest smile on his face and was having a blast. He asked if he could go every Saturday! He was running everywhere, giving his coach high-fives, and chasing after the ball. It’s a great little intro to soccer if you are in Memphis – here’s the link for what we signed him up for. It’s no pressure and fun for the kids! I’ll have pictures soon!

Also, Brian and Matt participated in a rib cook off in Robert’s backyard. 🙂 Even though they didn’t place, they had a good time cooking ribs and tri-tip and the kids had fun running around!

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P with his godfather and buddy, Robert!

 

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“Where did all the food go?”

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Birthdays have been in full swing around here. We went to Declan’s at the Little Gym and Connor’s at his house where Mr. Joe made a visit!

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Margo sat in the middle and stared at Mr. Joe for quite a while! She didn’t know what to think.

 

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P with a few of his buddies from school

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She is quite a fan of the Little Gym!

 

Also, I have to give Preston some props here. His behavior has been absolutely awesome lately. To my friends and family reading this, we are celebrating nightly here at our house. We are knocking it out of the park, getting all of our stickers at school, using much more respectful tones, and learning that it is okay for others to be first and best sometimes. When you are four, life is pretty hard to figure out, especially for strong-willed little guys, and I think things are really clicking with our little guy. We are proud.

Grandparents Day at P’s school was last week. Mimzie (Brian’s mom) and Mook (my dad) were able to make it. From what I hear, P loved having his grandparents there, and they did a cute little song for them on the stage in the gym.

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Margo and Preston continue to be best friends. They always ask for each other and are best playmates. They rarely have problems between the two of them, and are happy to share with one another. The only time we have issues is when they play too rough together and we’re worried about one of them getting hurt (usually Margo) but they are truly the light in each other’s lives and it makes us smile.

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Snow day!

We had our first “big” snow day with kids. Big for Memphis is around 4 inches. Just enough to play in, cancel schools, close offices and enjoy! It was so pretty.

We got up, made homemade chocolate chip pancakes, downed some coffee and decided to get the kids dressed to go outside and play. AN HOUR LATER, just kidding but that’s what it felt like getting them all bundled up, we were finally headed outside. We have no snow clothes for our children because why waste the money when we haven’t had a decent snow since they have been born, so we did our best.

Margo was not a fan of the snow. She spent a little while outside, but if I put her down to stand in the snow she cried. Her cheeks were so red and dry and she was begging to go inside. We got a few pics of her just standing there like a statue or crying. 🙂

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Preston, on the other hand, spent almost the whole day outside. He loved sledding, jumping in the snow, and playing around the neighborhood. He was quite the daredevil on the sled, and almost gave me a heart attack going down the giant hill in our neighborhood. Let’s just say he could be the next gold medalist in the skeleton event at the Winter Olympics. He was sledding until the sun started to set. I made some delicious homemade tomato soup and we all went to bed a little early.

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Brian made a quick drive to Mimzie and Bobo’s to borrow a few sleds they had. The kids loved riding on them!

 

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That’s Preston on the green sled going down the hill, and Margo and me in the background.

 

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Playing with Alex and Reed in their front yard

 

Memories were definitely made and we all had a little fun…. well, everyone except Margo. 🙂 Now, please will schools open again? Our little ones are getting a little stir crazy! 😉 I have to admit, I am too. Today, Preston looked at me and said “Mom, are we going somewhere?” I said, “No, why would you ask that?” and he said “Because you are not wearing pajamas.” It’s pretty bad when your four-year-old notices your lack of trying lately! Ha!

No more snow is expected and the weathermen say spring is on it’s way, but we sure did end this cold winter season with a lot of fun!

Love Month

I can’t believe February is almost over. It’s been a crazy month with all the bad weather, school closures, my work travel and keeping our sanity. But, with the help of family, we made it through and warmer weather is ahead. Here’s a summary of what’s been going on with us!

Brian’s Birthday

Brian turned 32 a couple weeks ago. We celebrated with a combined birthday/Valentine’s dinner at Ruth’s Chris. We had been holding onto a gift card for a long time, so we used it and had a very nice dinner. It was a great night out! We had not been on a date in a couple months, so we enjoyed the alone time. Birthdays are much more low key the older you get!

Apparently on your birthday, they take a picture of you and give you a copy like Benihana's. Seems a little odd for Ruth's Chris but we put it on our frig between all the kids artwork!

Apparently on your birthday, they take a picture of you and give you a copy like Benihana’s. Seems a little odd for Ruth’s Chris but we put it on our frig between all the kids artwork!

Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day, both the kids had parties at school. Brian and I both went to Preston’s school party, but parents are not allowed at Margo’s school. For their ages, it is a bit traumatic for the kids to see their parents and not go home with them, so they have the parties for just the teachers and kids. Both of them brought home all kinds of adorable artwork for us and cute homemade Valentine’s from their friends. I always love Valentine’s Day with kids!

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Some of the kids in P’s class at centers doing art and having snack.

Valentine’s Day night, I scored my company’s suite tickets to the Monster Truck show at FedExForum. We left Margo with her grandparents to spend the night, and we had a great time with P. He was pretty into it. It was VERY loud and there was A LOT of exhaust. Thankfully, we were able to borrow some headwear to protect his ears. They worked well! In a crazy turn of events, half way through the show, Preston looked at me and said “I’m going to throw up.” AAHHH! He made it to the trash can in the suite, and then after he puked he was fine! We think it was a combination of all the junk food (there was a lot!!) in the suite combined with all the exhaust from the giant trucks.  Crazy child! He has been known to have one-off pukes throughout his life, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. P thought he was big stuff in the suite!

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Work Trips

I had to do a bit of traveling over January and February for work. In total, I went to Orlando, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Dallas. I still have one last trip next week to Tallahassee, then I’m done for a while. Or at least, I declared to my coworkers and boss I am done for a while! 🙂 I did get through a book while waiting for flights – Where’d You Go, Bernadette – and it was pretty good. I don’t take many pictures when I travel for work, unless I eat some great meal or have a cool experience, which unfortunately RARELY happens. 🙂 And also, I find that I work MORE when I travel than when I don’t travel. However, I did get excited because I flew to Pittsburgh in the Steelers-branded plane!

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Memphis Ice Storm

The following week after Valentine’s, the ice hit. The kids only went to school one day that whole week! Unfortunately, I traveled to Dallas for work Tuesday through Thursday, so Brian had to make arrangements for the kids so that he could get to work. Thankfully, my in-laws live close to our house, so the drive was doable. We are so appreciative of the help! Preston played with the neighbors on Monday, and since it was President’s Day anyway, Brian’s office was closed regardless and my office decided to close that morning. The ice was pretty thick, so it made sledding possible. He went down the hill on our street a few times. I stayed warm with Margo inside, but Brian said he flew! It was a little scary. He is so fearless when it comes to stuff like that! Our neighbors took some pictures and sent them to me and I hopped outside for a few pics. Margo was NOT having the cold weather!

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Pushing our neighbors David and Connor down the hill!

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Loved every minute!

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Margo was looking at us like, “Um, what are we doing out here? Give me HEAT!”

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School was only open one day all week! I did get to stay home a couple days in between my work trip to Dallas. I loved the extra time with these two, but they were SO stir crazy! They both really love school, so they were so happy to get to go back this week.

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Sweet boy enjoying some of his Valentine’s candy from a friend.

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Mimzie sprung for Uggs for Margo. You have to admit, they are SO cute on her!

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Brian gave Margo her first ring pop. She was in heaven!

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This boy! He can write his name well now and is spelling more and more words. So proud of him!

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This child has us wrapped around her finger! Seriously, she is SO sweet and perfect all the time, we can’t say no to her. We are in MAJOR trouble. She was saying “cheese!!!” for the camera. She is saying all kinds of words these days and growing up way too fast. A living doll that sweet sister is!

Winter Off-Road Series

Marley and I finished the winter off road series. It was totally crazy. Every race was wet, cold, muddy, and overall pretty miserable (except the 8K – which was completely in the woods and I was totally confused as to where I was, how far I had run, etc). I am glad to be finished!

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I finished 4th overall in my age group. I just missed a pretty medal made by the Ornamental Medal Museum! Bummer! When I see these times, I think “goodness – how slow” because I can run these races faster on roads. Trails, however, are a completely different beast! When your feet are caked in mud and you can’t feel your fingers and you’ve just run through a creek and your wet from mid-calf down, running miles proves challenging! I have no idea how I did that so swiftly in high school! As Marley pointed out, I guess being 16 helps. 🙂

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The 10K race at Shelby Farms

The 8K at Nesbit Park / Stanky Creek

The 8K at Nesbit Park / Stanky Creek

Up next, Marley and I are headed to Lynchburg, TN Easter weekend to run the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in April and take on the notorious Whiskey Hill. I’ve heard it’s no joke and am a little afraid, but the race sounds like fun!

Whew! What an update! We are ready for warmer weather around here and hope it comes soon!