Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


We saw Santa today... TWICE! Here we are at the Mall where we saw him first... I think we might have to take out a second mortgage just to cover photos if the prices for these goes up any more!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Christmas Decoration for 2011

Years ago, when we first started having a tree together, I was particular about what went on it. All silver decorations, white lights, a dark red ribbon, and my angel (who is simple with a touch of dark red)... but each year we started being given decorations, more and more until I no longer have room for my silver balls, or any of those first decorations... But giving way to these ornaments has made our tree special, and unique... there really is something for everyone on it. There are 'First Christmas' ornaments, a family ornament for each year, and all kinds of milestone and special decorations. 

Here is the decoration that we have for this year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy 9 months Baby...

Evie is already 9 months old and her first Christmas is approaching...

She melts my heart, and makes me realize every day how complete she has made our family, or rather how we weren't complete without her.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas is approaching...

Our gifts are bought, most are wrapped, and the parade season is here!

We were in Weaverville over the weekend and the shops and streets are decorated for the Holiday.

Check out this cute little dog that was hanging out on the street this weekend:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Parade, part two!

Rory and Arden (and Cute Husband) were all in the holiday parade in Weaverville today. My handsome men were the hit of the parade! (Well, one of them anyhow!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thinking of My GrandPa...

Growing up, my grandpa was one of the coolest people I knew. He could make anything, out of anything, and whatever he made was filled with love. He was a coal miner in his younger days, even broke his back in the mines at one point... even so, he was strong as an ox.

I loved listening to his stories, and looking back, he may well have been one of the best story tellers I ever knew, and one of the funniest old men. He was always in good humor with us kids, even if we weren't the best fishing companions.

In the past years his body has started to fail him and recently he has been admitted to a nursing home, which I assume is for good this time... I really miss him and wish we lived closer. I wish that my children had gotten to know the man I knew.

The only "lawn decoration" we have is something that GrandPa made for me...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Twin love...

Just a few shots of the twins from my good friend R. Such sweet little loves!

Here are a couple of Evie today while I am at it...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holiday Parade!

We went to the Asheville Holiday Parade for the first time this year, both Rory and Arden were invited to be in it!!!

I wasn't able to get a photo of Arden for the blog because he was on the wrong side of the street, but here are the other kids!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Have you ever...

Have you ever seen a baby this happy to be set down where she can eat all the sticks and dirt she wants??!! I swear she is would love to live on a diet of dried leaves and whatever else she finds on the floor if we would let her.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Duinkerken Homes...

One of my good friends and her husband own Duinkerken Homes here in the Asheville Area, and recently, they re-did an 100+ year old home in Montreat.

 From the way my friend told it, I was expecting a normal little house, nothing particularly special, and no real history behind the home... Brandon Duinkerken took me out to see this little house this week, and I was speechless! The amazing work, and restoration that was done, is just heart fluttering!

Brandon walked into this project after a less reputable remodler had come in and left the family without a finished project, and without the beauty that the home once held. The wood had been removed, things had been gutted and destroyed, and there was an amazing amount of work that needed to be done.

What Brandon was able to do was amazing! He dumpster dove through the thrown-out items, and was able to bring back some of these amazing parts into the home, and what he ended with was a beautiful home with a ton of love and history inside...

Brandon's little touches, things like making walls from old rescued wood from the home, using the 100 year old tub, leaving the beautiful floors intact and fixing them, and completely refinishing the outside of them home make this little house into something that is spectacular and beautiful. His ability to recognize and take parts of history and build them into the home is what makes him one of the best at what he does!

Friday, November 11, 2011

8 Months Already...

I can't believe it is already November, and my little bean is already 8 months old!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Fall!!!

I figure since I just posted about our summer, I should celebrate fall before winter arrives!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

10 years.


10 years ago today, I met Carl, and my life changed forever.

10 years ago today, I stumbled out of bed after a night of Halloween Festivities, and drove the long drive from Kent State to OhioPyle to kayak on the Lower Yough. I didn't have anyone to boat with, and with the water levels being less than 10in, there were not many people to ask for rides.

After about 15 minutes, two men pull up in beat up pickup trucks and start pulling out old school kayaks and getting ready to run their shuttle. I asked if I could bum a ride back at the end, and they graciously agreed to give me a ride.

Carl and Ladd came back from the long shuttle run, and the three of us put on the river. Carl was quiet and sweet, following behind me and chatting here and there. Smiling at me, and just watching me...

I have a lot of fond memories from that day, and don't know why it stood out more than the other hundreds of days I have spent on that river. I remember running new lines in RailRoad, the crisp air and bright colors, the new moves on some of the surfing waves, and how beautiful it was... I still laugh whenever I see a pair of creek mitts, knowing that Carl's story about "conditioning his hands" really meant that he just forgot his mitts, and that he was freezing cold! I remember how red his knuckles were and how funny he was trying to pretend his hands were fine...

After a day of boating, a quick dinner of some bacon cheese fries (minus the cheese thanks to Ladd) and beer, Carl and I agreed to meet the next day and boat again.

I don't know what it was, but that day was the start of something.

A few months later we were together almost all the time, and I was even driving from WV to OH on days I had college classes, and staying with him the rest of the time.

My life has changed in so many ways; four children later, I can still look at Carl and feel that confidence and comfort that he gave me the first day we met... I know when he stares at me, that he still sees the young 20 year old girl on the river that day, and it makes me feel special to know how much he loves me.

We have become very different people then we were that day on the water, but somehow, we have gotten to where we are together, and grow closer all the time.

I love you baby, and hope for many more years together and more growth and love to come. The changes we have made are amazing and I am thankful for them everyday.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Summer 2011, better late than never...

Here some mementos of our summer vacations this year now that I have them on the computer.

We went here and there, all over the eastern states. As soon as school let out, we headed to the beach, to WV, MD, and everywhere in between!

First stop was my mom and dad's house at the beach...

My mom is looking beautiful as she regrows her hair now that her chemo is backing down:

Rory became a "maji" at Magic Quest...

He caught a minnow in the waves:

We hung out at the pier...

The boys fished with their PaPa...

And caught a shark!!!

Arden was an awesome buggie boarder...

Rory too...

We took a state park class on the nesting turtles...

And just played...

Then we went to the lake with Grammy and DadDad...

Visited my Granny Eva...

And made it home to Asheville.

Somewhere along the way, Rory learned to catch a chicken!