Recap of 2017

Hello blog… it’s been a while.  2017 was a crazy year.

In the summer we spent a ton of the time at the pool watching those boys master things like dolphin dives and backstroke. We also hit the road for our annual trip to visit Dean’s family in Baltimore.  Of course this included an O’s game.


Brooks graduated Pre-K in the spring and got lost in the exciting world of elementary school this fall. Here is his last week with his cousins and his first day.  Yes, Brooks is definitely the extrovert in our family.

To celebrate his new status as Kindergartener… we took Brooks on his special “mom-dad-Brooks” trip right before school started.  What can I say, it was a blast – water park, swimming, beach, donuts, ice cream.  We did it all and Brooks got to run the show, picking everything we did.

kinder trip

(Side story: Dean lost his wedding ring at the water park and someone found and turned it in at the end of the day.  Talk about a miracle!)

We also took a mini vacay in September with Dean’s brother and his family.  The kids loved all the cousin time and we had a great long weekend.


In the fall, the kids played baseball again. Both of their teams did really good. Brooks played rookie machine pitch and loved playing catcher and started getting a few hits each game by end of the season.  Landon played machine pitch for the second season in a row and his team lost in the championship game.  Landon also hit his first (in the park) home run.


With school starting, we got into our groove in September and October. I even got to chaperone Landon’s field trip to Panther stadium.  But then, we got to Halloween and it was a rapid blur until Christmas.

We also had a few visits from the toothfairy… look at this smile (or lack of smile with that big gap in front 😉 )


That brings us to the holidays.  For Thanksgiving we went to Asheville with my dad’s entire family (including my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins kids). There were about 50 of us! My mom coordinated a great weekend where we had plenty of family time, but also time to do whatever everyone was most interested in…. great since there were so man of us.  We did the Polar Express with my sister, brother and cousin who has kids.  We also hit the Biltmore House to see it all gussied up for the holidays. I’ve always wanted to do that, and it was great to visit it again – the first time I saw it was the day Dean proposed about 10 years ago.


(While every other kid told Santa what they wanted out loud, Brooks insisted on whispering in Santa’s ear because he wanted to ask for Pokemon cards which is something mom banned from our house the second half of 2017 – too much fighting, leaving them all over, and not doing chores, homework, etc. because they were busy trading. The boy is ballsy – isn’t he 🙂 )

One thing that was nice this year is that we tried to take a step back and not force so much at the holidays.  We still did all kinds of fun activities like building gingerbread houses, visiting Santa, lots of Christmas movies and hot chocolate, driving to see Christmas lights in nearby neighborhoods, but I feel like we are often traveling or trying to fit in other extras and we really took a lot of that out and it was just Dean and I with our boys.  Another really special thing at Christmas this year is when we went to the Christmas Eve service, Landon raised his hand and committed his life to Jesus. That was the biggest highlight of the holiday for me.  I definitely cried when he said his prayer.



So that was our 2017 in a single blog post (from where I cut off last Spring.)  Of course, I missed so many of the details of each month like weekends away with friends/family and special cousin activities throughout the year, but I think the highlights cover it pretty well 🙂



I came upon an old paci of Landon’s this week.  He was very particular about his paci’s and would only take a certain one.  In emergencies, we tried other kinds but he’d just scream and spit it out.

Finding that paci reminded me of all the things I don’t even realize I already miss as my boys are getting bigger.

Their train tracks.  Landon used to love making long winding paths for his trains but neither of my children have touched them in the past year.

Their baby bottles.  As much as a pain as it was to wash all 4 parts of those Dr. Brown’s bottles, I miss the sweet cuddles that came along with giving my little boys a bottle. Before they could hold it by themselves.  When they were still just baby blobs who needed help doing everything.

Their strollers.  We haven’t used a stroller (with the exception of an occasional jog) in so long. There were so many miles put on the umbrella stroller and sit and stand stroller when they were younger. We’d take almost-nightly walks through the neighborhood where they’d point out every dog in the street and every airplane in the sky.

Diaper butts.  Granted both my kids still wear diapers to bed, but there is something sweet about having a big diaper popping out of your kids little onesie as they scoot around the floor.

Falling asleep in your arms.  I miss the occasional arm nap.  I remember being in those moments when it was a daily requirement to carry a sleeping baby around and I remember thinking I couldn’t wait for them to be able to sleep out of my arms.  Now, I’d love for a day or two where I had a sleeping baby who wanted to nap in the crook of my arm.

Funny how you don’t realize you are missing out on things until you really think back to what life used to be like.

I think it would be so sweet to live life for a week with my boys at age 6 mos, 1 year and 2 years old again.  Now that I know what their personalities are like, I’d love to see how many glimpses of 5 year old Landon or 3 year old Brooks I’d see in their younger versions.

Never got around to it week.

This week is going to be “never got around to it” week.  A culmination of posts and pictures that I just never posted.  Random things. Or things that I kinda posted on, but not all of it. This week is mostly shaped by the pictures I downloaded this week from my camera.  A whole half a year full of them.  And I decided that I’d take a week to post some of my favorites.

So here goes.  The official NGATI week starts now.  (It’s like Shark Week, but awesomer!)

I’m starting with these pics of my kids on their birthday. Because I love them. How cute of Brooks and his candles. Just waiting to blow them out.


And then an adorable faced three year old in full on blow mode, with his brother helping on the side!


And then this one, of four of the cuzies hanging out.  Huge grins plastered across their faces because they know they’re about to get a big honking piece of cake. Pure anticipation.


So if you don’t like seeing tons of pics of my kids or taking a stroll down memory lane with some of my favorite moments from this year, then NGATI week is not for you 😉


Flashback Friday: Fireworks

There are a lot of “f’s” in that title!

During our 4th of July festivities this summer, the kids experienced another first… their first time doing Sparklers.  Like hold-them-all-by-themselves-and-squeal-with-delight sparklertime.

Don’t these kiddos look like they are having a blast?  They were!!

(And how old does Landon look in that first picture?  This 4 year old  looks at least 8 or 9!)

Those kiddos just don’t listen when I tell them to stop growing!



Flashback Friday: Studio 54


Studio 54

I went to school on the coast of North Carolina in a little college town.  After my sister got into the same college I did – UNC-Wilmington, my parents decided that instead of paying a ton of money for on-campus housing for two kids, they would buy a house we could live in with our friends through the college years.  (It became an even better investment after my brother ended up going to UNCW –  So we all got to use the house!)  Enter Studio 54 – the nickname we gave for our home.

Last weekend, my BFF sent me picture (above) of the house.  I didn’t even know she’d made a trip to our college town so it brought a huge smile to my face. Studio 54 was the location for many a late night – either partying or cramming for a test – usually more of the former, meeting tons of new friends, reminiscing about what our lives would be after college, 5, 10 or 20 years later and learning the responsibilities that come with living on your own and being responsible for the choices you make.

When she sent the picture, two things ran through my head: 1) I was shocked by how big the tree had gotten out front – and it reminded me that it’s been over 10 years (nearly 11) since I graduated and 2) brought back so many fun memories of ‘easy-street’ living.

I lived just 5 minutes from the beach. My high school really prepared me well for college so although classes were challenging, I never felt overwhelmed with the amount of work required, and I had a lot of free time on my hands to live life.  I met so many fun people who created so many hilarious memories of those 4 years.

Now that I’ve slowed down my lifestyle – it’s rare that I hit the bar for a night on the town – and have the responsibilities of a family, homeownership, career, etc; I still reminisce often of the awesome life I got to live through college.  I always say that if I ever had the chance to just relive a week of my life again, I would pick my college years.  I’d spend time at the beach, I’d hit my classes (and pay better attention), I’d socialize and go out with friends, and just have more of the meaningful conversations that filled those days.

For me, college was such an exciting time to gain knowledge, have so much social time and really learn to manage myself and my life – without the full burden of responsibility that comes with adulthood (i.e. a mortgage or 40 hour a week job).

If you could relive any one week of your life, what would it be?

Christmas Flashback – Baltimore trip


Brooks and Brody – hanging out!

balt2Visiting with Aunt June and helping in the kitchen

Vbalt3 Twinsie Brothers – nope they didn’t plan the outfit match!

balt4  Visiting Santa and meeting his Elf helpers

balt5 balt6 balt7 balt8  Cuddly and warm at Grammy’s house
balt9  Three boy cousins – with a girl cousin on the way!balt11  My three favorite elves!

balt12 balt13 balt14  The boys!

balt15  Three generations in front of the tree.

balt16  The fam!

balt17 A double photo bomb – Dean in the back and BDizz in the front!

Flashback: Christmas performance





lxmas1  lxmas2 lxmas5 lxmas4

I was downloading a ton of pics from Christmas 2013 from my camera and realized I never got around to posting any of them. These are of Landon’s school Christmas performance – as usual he rocked the stage and mom and dad were so proud!

Since this blog is a journal of our family, I decided to post them now.  Always a great way to go back and remember the holiday memories.

So apologies to the Scrooges out there who don’t want to relive holiday cheer in February.  There are going to be a few posts worth, so be prepared!!

Happy Holidays in 60′ weather, ya’ll!