Monday, December 30, 2013


I am officially an Auntie of a cute new baby girl! Elsie Noelle was born on December 7th and my sister Jenn and I wasted no time in getting up to Oregon to meet her. We drove 13 hours through fog and snow, with four kids in tow and endless potty stops, but it was so worth it! She is just the most precious, snuggable little peanut! So excited for Christi and Ty Ty and their new adventure!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The first Oregon trip: Thanksgiving

In the words of Christi, "You're actually blogging?! ...Do you even remember how?!"

Um, yes, yes I do. It's just become my norm to be extremely behind. (I know, I know Christi. It drives you nuts!).

Anyway, we spent Thanksgiving in Oregon this year at my in-laws' house in Bandon Dunes. Although Nathan and I drove up together, we met up with his parents about and hour and a half south of my parents house to drop Nathan off with them and allow me to head to my Mom and Dad's house for two nights so that I could celebrate Christi's baby shower with her. Christi was super excited to have the boys for a night, and Drew and Collin were excited to spend an afternoon/evening of "boy time" with Poppi and Uncle Ty Ty while we got the shower ready.

Drew's latest game: setting bunny traps. He gathered up the carrots, celery, and roughage (aka: weeds), found a net, made a trap and then would sit and patiently as a five year old does...for his bunnies to come. When I asked him what he would do with a bunny if he caught one, he told me, "If I catch a bunny, I'll let it go...but if I catch a deer, then I'll SHOOT it!" Hmmm...too much time listening to Grandpa's hunting stories.... :)

The girls and I did a Pat The Bunny themed shower, which we had all sorts of fun planning and carrying out!

Jenn spent Thanksgiving this year at home with her hubby's family so she wasn't able to make the shower. We missed her!

The trip to my parents' house was a quick one. I was basically there for the day of the shower and left the next morning to head to Bandon to meet up with Nathan's family and get ready for Thanksgiving. Before we left though, the boys begged Lala to take them to feed apples to the ponies. So, in true Lala and Poppi's farm fashion, they went and picked a full bucket of the last of the apples off my parents' trees and marched up to feed the horses. Spoiled ponies!

By mid-morning we were off and running. I tried to time the drive so that it was during nap time since I had a few hours to drive and it was just me and the boys. In some small miraculous event, all went according to plan and the boys were out about five minutes after leaving my parents' driveway. They slept soundly all the way until, what to my wondering eyes did appear.....

Elk. ELK! I have never seen Elk and let me tell you, our car went from a warm, cozy, lulling-babies-to-sleep a screeching to a halt, swerving (*safely* of course, mom) to the side of the roadway, waking-up-babies parked vehicle in about point two seconds. Seriously.  

We used to joke when we were younger that you could always spot a tourist in our hometown because they would pull over to take pictures of the deer (the abundant, pesky, eat all your plants and flowers pests that ran rampant around our hometown as commonly as dogs). Well let me tell you. Somewhere in-between Drain and Bandon Dunes (because I haven't the slightest clue where exactly I was)....I became that tourist. In fact, I'm actually not sure if it was the swerving car that woke my babies up, or the fact that I was yelling, "EEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLKKKK!!!!" at the top of my lungs. Yeah. I was that tourist.

We did indeed eventually pull ourselves away from the elk and make our way over to Nathan's parents' house. While I had spent the day driving, Nathan and his Dad had spent a few days playing the golf courses that Bandon Dunes is known for.

By Wednesday, the rest of the Thanksgiving crew had arrived (my parents and sisters, Auntie Kimmie and Uncle Dana, and Nathan's Uncle Temme and Auntie Toy and their five teenage/grown boys). It was a full house, and our boys ate it up!

Drewski and the lizard he and Collin caught

It was freezing and all Tanner wanted to do was sit and play in the damp dirt...with no shoes on. He was happy though!

Our crew needed three huge tables to seat us all!

Grandma let Drew help set the tables, so he spent Thanksgiving morning outside scrounging up greenery, rocks, and wild mushrooms that he was very proud to set out on the table as his contribution.

A few quick (and by quick, I mean terrible quality) pictures of everyone

Most of the week for the boys was spent wrestling/exploring/setting rabbit traps/playing with "the big boys". Nathan's cousins are all at least teenagers at this point and are such great guys about being silly, hanging out, and entertaining our little guys. We always leave family functions talking about "the big boys" for weeks afterwards.

 On the day before we left, all the guys (including Drew and Collin) woke up early and took Grandpa's boat out crabbing in the bay.

Sleepy Collin

The guys came home with three full buckets of crab, so we were treated to a fantastic crab feed in addition to the birthday prime rib dinner that was made in honor of cousin Peyton, Auntie Christi and Auntie Kimmie (whose birthdays were all a day apart starting with Peyton's) the last night we were there! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tanner's Birthday

I realize that it is the beginning of December, but better late than never and I have at least one very important event that happened in October that still needs to be blogged about: my baby turned one!

We had a very mellow first birthday for Tan Tan this year. Since all but one weekend in September were spent out of town and the first weekend in October as well for a wedding, it felt almost indulgent to stay home and play with the boys here around town for Tanner's birthday. The funny thing is, it seemed that the boys almost felt it was indulgent as well. That said, we did want to do at least a little something to celebrate Tanny (and lucky for us, his birthday fell on a Saturday this year). We had been hearing for a while about a family farm a half an hour or so from our house that was supposed to be pretty fun to visit, so we decided to head out and explore....and, since they had a mini steam train that ran the property, we figured it would be a pretty fun treat for our train/car loving birthday boy!

But, before I go into birthday details, I do have just a few cute photos from our niece's wedding the weekend before. Drew was the ring bearer and was so excited to be a part of things!

Trying to get a busy three year old to sit still through most of dinner was a bit of a challenge....

...but then again, getting a busy thirty-something year old to sit still was a bit of a challenge as well. *sigh* Boys.

Beautiful A.J. and her new hubby Ryan

Anyway, like I said, much of the morning of Tanner's birthday was spent at this great little family farm we had been hearing about.

Yep. We popped a ridiculous birthday hat on Tan Tan. I expected him to rip it off a few minutes after we put it on, but he kept it on and actually got upset when we tried to take it off!

The farm is a fun, eclectic mix of all sorts of things. Playhouses, open lawn to run around on, corn maze, a suspension bridge, pumpkin patch, steam train, etc. that all are dispersed on a big sprawling piece of property. It was easy to spend a good portion of our day there without realizing how much time had gone by.

The playhouse pictured above (two photos up) had a secret hatch in the floor that led to this tunnel that popped out in a notch in the hill below the house. We had plenty of runs through this tunnel before we were able to move the boys on to something else!

Collin is starting to act/look like such a big kid to me.

We met up with the boys' best buddies Noah and Nathan and as is usually the case when we get the crew together, I didn't have a chance at the possibility of a non-silly picture! Good thing they're cute!

There are two steam trains that run the property. At one point in the ride, the trains pass which was sort of fun :)

Tanner loved the pumpkins! By the end of the morning, he was a mess, since at this point, he still wasn't walking yet but insisted on being on the ground.

Later that night we had Nathan's parents, Grandma, and Aunt Karen over for dinner and birthday cake. 

I always theme the boys' cakes and since we visited a farm for his birthday, a haystack and farm animals seemed fitting for Tan it allowed me to make the german chocolate cake I was craving and still have a small chocolate layer cake for Tanner on top.

This little rocking chair has been in Nathan's family for years. It was his Grandma's when she was little and each year when the boys turn one, she brings it over so we can take a birthday picture of the birthday boy in it. I love it! (I guess this is the first picture that it really shows up in, but Tanner knocked his lip pretty good a few days before his birthday and the red bump lingered for a week or so).

Cake time! Not sure why Collin is plugging his ears...

Eating all my hard work...those animals took some time!

Grandpa, Grandma, GGma and Aunt Karen

You and me both kid! This is how I feel inside when I eat cake too!

Happy Birthday sweet boy!